Pakistan police arrest doctor after 90 infected by HIV syringe

“We have arrested a doctor after receiving complaints from the health authorities,” said Kamran Nawaz, the local police chief heading the case. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 May 2019

Pakistan police arrest doctor after 90 infected by HIV syringe

  • Authorities were first alerted last week after 18 children from a town on the outskirts of the city tested positive for the virus
  • Authorities said they traced the outbreak to a single doctor, who appears to have been using a contaminated syringe on patients

KARACHI: At least 90 people, including 65 children, are believed to have been infected with the HIV virus in Pakistan by a doctor using a contaminated syringe, officials said Friday.
“We have arrested a doctor after receiving complaints from the health authorities,” said Kamran Nawaz, the local police chief heading the case in the southern city of Larkana.
“We are told that the doctor also has HIV,” he said.
Authorities were first alerted last week after 18 children from a town on the outskirts of the city tested positive for the virus, which causes AIDS, prompting health officials to carry out wider screenings.
Dozens more infections were found.
“More than 90 people have tested HIV positive and the number of children is around 65,” Dr. Abdul Rehaman, a district health official in Larkana, told AFP.
A second official confirmed the outbreak, although gave slightly different figures.
Authorities said they traced the outbreak to a single doctor, who appears to have been using a contaminated syringe on patients.
Azra Pechuho, Sindh province’s health minister, confirmed his arrest.
“The blood of the parents of the infected children was also tested, but their results were negative,” Pechuho added.
Officials have since launched an even larger testing and education drive.
Pakistan is considered a low prevalence country for HIV, but the disease is expanding — mostly among intravenous drug users, sex workers and migrant laborers returning from the Gulf.


Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

Updated 10 July 2020

Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

  • Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018
  • Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s attorney general said Friday that two men had confessed to killing a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group as part of a plot to topple Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018.
His shooting death last week sparked days of protests and ethnic violence that killed 239 people, according to police figures.
“The assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force,” attorney general Abebech Abbebe said in a statement Friday aired on state television, without providing details.
Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office, a complaint echoed by many protesters last week.
Abebech said that along with the two men who have allegedly confessed to the crime, the government has identified a third suspect who remains on the run.
One of the men in custody identified the masterminds of the alleged plot as members of a rebel group the government believes is affiliated with the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) political party, Abebech said.
The OLF, a former rebel movement, returned to Ethiopia from exile after Abiy took office and has repeatedly disavowed any links to armed insurgents.
The Internet remained shut off Friday for an 11th consecutive day, though Addis Ababa remains calm and Abiy’s office issued a statement saying the surrounding Oromia region had “returned to calm and citizens have resumed normal activities.”
In her statement, however, Abebech said unnamed agitators were calling for additional protests and road blockages in the coming days.
“There are those that have hidden themselves in nice places but are calling on Ethiopian youth to fight each other, close roads and to cease working as part of a rebellion call,” Abebech said.
“Above all we call on our people to disobey this rebellion call and to thwart it.”