Prime Minister Narendra Modi today warned against what he called the "new challenge of Black Fungus" and said the country must be prepared to fight the rare and potentially fatal condition that is increasingly seen in recovering Covid patients. He said vaccinations should be a mass movement in the long battle against Covid, describing the virus as an unseen and shifting enemy.
The PM also became emotional as he spoke about those who had died of Covid in a virtual address to health workers from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
"This virus has snatched many people from us. Those who lost their loved ones because of Corona, I pay my tribute and I express my condolences," the Prime Minister said.
"Yoga and Ayush have bolstered people's strength in this coronavirus crisis. But this is not the time to be complacent. We have a long fight ahead."
Calling for special attention to rural areas, he said: "Our mantra will be, Jahaan Bimar, Vahi Upchaar (wherever there is illness, there should be treatment). The more we take wellness to the people, the less will be the pressure on our health systems.
"In recent days we have a new challenge of Black Fungus. It is important to prepare systems to tackle it," he said.
The PM talked about the threat to children and said they needed to be protected in the fight against Covid.
"There is a need to protect our children against COVID-19. We have had successes in the past in battling diseases which affect children, and we have successfully dealt with those illnesses and ensured the safety of our children. We must implement best practices and do all we can to ensure children are safe," he said, praising Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's role in dealing with a disease affecting children.