An unlicensed doctor in India infected over 40 people with HIV after using the same needle to treat all victims, Times Now reported.
Rajendra Kumar allegedly infected patients in a village in the Uttar Pradesh region with the deadly virus last year, but local media broke news of the incident on Tuedsay, Feb. 6, months after the victims, who reportedly include children, were diagnosed at a free health camp in the village.
“Forty [HIV] positive cases have been found [among 400 tested people]. If proper tests are done, at least 500 cases would come up,” said area councillor Sunil Bangarmau, according to The Logical Indian, citing local news wire service ANI.
According to Times Now, the fake doctor allegedly used a single needle on all patients in the guise of cheaper treatment.
Some of the victims are reportedly undergoing treatment at the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Centre in Kanpur.
“We had set up health camps where these cases were found to be confirmed. We have received orders and are deciding our further course of action,” said medical superintendent Dr. Pramod Kumar Dohre to the news outlet.
Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh promised a crackdown on those offering treatment without qualifications.
“The matter is being investigated. Action will be taken against culprits and those who practice without a license,” Singh said, according to Times Now.
The minister also announced a scheme to curb the spread of HIV in the region.
“Since it’s a transit point, HIV carriers are likely to come there. So we’re mapping truck drivers who come there and offer treatment to them,” Singh told ANI, Times Now reported.
Tragic headlines were also noted last year in Uttar Pradesh, The Logical Indian reported, with over 70 children dying in hospital due to lack of oxygen.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi called the incident a “massacre.”
30 kids died in hospital without oxygen. This is not a tragedy. It's a massacre. Is this what 70 years of freedom means for our children?
— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) August 11, 2017
Meanwhile, a police investigation has been launched into the mass HIV infection.
The quack is said to be on the run.