Sunday, 26 May, 2019

K'taka: Villagers empty lake after HIV+ woman jumps into it

HIV-Infected Commits Suicide By Drowning In a Lake Villagers Drain Its Water Fearing AIDS HIV Aids
Gustavo Carr | 07 December, 2018, 21:57

Indian authorities said they have been busy pumping water out of a sprawling lake in the south of the country in an effort to allay local villagers' fears that it was contaminated after the discovery of the body of a woman infected with HIV a week ago. Lakshmana, a Moraba gram panchayat member, said to News 18, "Since the time villagers came to know that the deceased was infected with HIV, they have been afraid and refused to drink or use the water from this lake". Unable to reassure the locals, authorities are now draining the 36-acre lake and planning to refill it with water from the Malaprabha canal. The lake is also the primary source of drinking water in that area, and people have refused to drink water from the lake.

Soon after learning about the incident, district panchayat chief executive officer Dr B Satheesha rushed to the spot and tried to convince villagers that HIV never spread the way they thought. "The water in the lake is being cleared and will be emptied in a couple of days".

Doctors have refuted claims that the locals risk being exposed to HIV if they consume the water.

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District authorities have made a decision to distribute water from Mallaprabha river, a tributary of the Krishna river, among villagers for the time being. "The villagers themselves took the initiative by providing pipes and other equipment required to pump out water from the lake", Bidralli said. They have warned the Malaprabha right canal will be closed after December 8, so we have to fill the water into lake before that.

Navalgund tahsildar Naveen Hullur said "I will talk to officials to allow us to fill the lake from Malaprabha canal till December 20 or 22". We offered to conduct tests to prove the water is fit to drink. "We may need another 5 days to empty the lake, and it may take another 15 days to fill it back".

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