Wednesday, June 9, 2021

India Battles Black Fungus

As a devastating second wave of Covid-19 ebbs with less than 100,000 new cases reported on Tuesday, India is battling mucormycosis (commonly referred to as “black fungus”), a rare fungal disease with a high mortality rate. 

On Monday, the country’s Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the country has more than 28,000 cases of the fungal infection. 

While black fungus has been found in India before, the current spike in infections is among people infected with COVID-19 and those who have recovered from the disease. 

The outbreak is putting tremendous pressure on the health infrastructure, especially on the availability of Liposomal Amphotericin-B, the last-line drug being used to treat black fungus and which, according to health authorities, is in short supply in the country.

I just read that Liverpool are planning a pre-season friendly that will see Steven Gerrard (left) return to Anfield as manager of Scottish champions Rangers. 

Gerrard left Liverpool in 2015 and has returned since as a player for the Reds’ legends side – but this will be the first time he has been in the Anfield dugout. 

The iconic former captain led Rangers to the Scottish title in his third season in charge north of the border, their first title in 10 years impressively achieved after amassing 102 points and conceding just 13 goals in 38 games. 

Due to the pandemic, Liverpool’s pre-season plans will see them remain more local than typically in a summer and there will be at least one Anfield friendly scheduled. 

Jurgen Klopp has given players an extended break of seven weeks, opposed to the usual six weeks, with pre-season to begin for non-international players on July 12. A training camp in France or Austria is planned, depending on respective government restrictions nearer the time. 

But a friendly against Rangers, at Anfield, in late July is being penned in – and it could be a match that sees a full capacity at Anfield for the first time since March 2020, should government restrictions allow.

Gerrard won’t be the only former Red returning to Anfield, along with winger Ryan Kent, plus backroom staff Gary McAllister, Michael Beale, Tom Culshaw and Jordan Milsom. 

It should be a great occasion at Anfield. Let’s hope this pans out!

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