Indian authorities drain a lake where woman with HIV was found dead
6th December 2018

Indian authorities drain an entire LAKE because villagers wrongly feared woman with HIV found dead in the water would infect them

  • Authorities drained 32-acre lake, 270m from state capital Bengaluru 
  • Locals feared they could catch HIV virus after HIV-infected body discovered 
  • The lake is a key source of water for the villagers of Morab in Bengaluru State
  • Draining the lake taken four days, replaced with fresh water from nearby canal 

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.   

The lake near the village of Morab in Karnataka, about 440 km (273 miles) from the state’s capital of Bengaluru, covers 32 acres (13 hectares).

The drainage operation has run for the last four days and fresh water from a nearby canal will be used to replenish the lake over the next four to five days, said Naveen Hullur, who is in charge of the area.

The lake is a key source of drinking water for more than 1,000 people who live in the drought-affected region and earn their livelihoods by farming the surrounding land.

Indian authorities have been pumping water out of a huge lake in Morab village in southern India after locals expressed fears of contamination following the discovery of the body of a woman infected with HIV. Villagers rely on the local water source for farming in the drought-affected region

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According to the local official, although the virus is usually transmitted through sexual intercourse, infected blood and from an infected mother to the baby in her womb or through breastfeeding, the villagers’ alarm at the discovery a week ago drove the demand for the lake to be drained. 

‘We tried our best to assure the villagers that we would get the water tested, but they did not budge and even refused to come near the lake,’ Hullur added.

The HIV virus which causes AIDS is not spread in air, water or in food, or by sharing cups, bowls, cutlery, clothing, or toilet seats. 

It cannot survive in the body after the infected person dies.

It was not immediately clear how much the drainage operation would cost. 

Public health officials in the region did not immediately respond to telephone calls and email messages from Reuters to seek comment.



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