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India health officials battle "black fungus" infections as COVID death toll tops 300,000

Health officials in India are scrambling to contain a potentially fatal fungal infection affecting people being treated for or who've recovered from COVID-19, as the official coronavirus death toll surpassed 300,000 on Monday.

Why it matters: Mucormycosis, the "black fungus" infection, is still quite rare, with some 9,000 cases as of Saturday, per NDTV. But Indian health services are overstretched treating COVID-19 patients amid sluggish vaccine deliveries, with oxygen and other supplies running out in many places, AP notes.


  • Mucormycosis has been declared an "epidemic" by health officials in four states, the Times of India reports.
  • The mucormycosis death toll has not been disclosed, but local media have reported that 250 people have lost their lives to the infection, according to AP.

The big picture: India's health ministry confirmed 4,454 more people had died from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 303,720 — the third-highest in the world after the U.S. and Brazil.

  • The ministry reported 222,315 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total to almost 27 million since the pandemic began.
  • Scientists and local health workers say the actual numbers are much higher.

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Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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