Water samples from Sobha building site test negative for cholera

Water samples from Sobha building site test negative for cholera

Microbiologists at the Public Health Institute have confirmed that water samples from the labour sheds near the under-construction Sobha Dreamacres in Southeast Bengaluru do not contain cholera bacteria (vibrio cholerae).

The negative samples have further complicated the efforts to find out the source of the illness that struck the labourers at the site in Varthur. St John's hospital has confirmed two labourers from the sheds had died of cholera.

One of the labourers, Ankur, has developed acute kidney failure due to cholera-related complications, while another, Kanaiya Das,  has also been confirmed to have cholera and is being treated at St Philomena's Hospital.

Dr B K Krishnappa, the medical officer at Varthur Primary Health Centre, said stool samples were needed to be tested for the bacteria since water samples had tested negative.

"Only one labourer has diarrhoea, so there's a problem in collecting samples," he said. "We're making sure that the labourers are eating healthy food and drinking boiled water to avoid cholera infection."

The medic said labourers at the shed had been living in unhygienic conditions and did not have the basic idea of cleanliness. The state government has given lessons on hygiene and hand washing.

A complaint has been registered with the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission about the labourers' death and illness, but the panel did not act since it is without a chairperson and members.  

The panel's secretary Madhu Sharma said it had asked for information from health and police departments and had inquired after the labourers' condition.

Labour Department officials have visited the shed and took the occupants' statement on the incident. They gave time  until January 8 for  the builders to respond to their notice. If the reply is found unsatisfactory, they would register a case against Sobha Developers.

More than 3,000 workers live in the sheds adjacent to the building site, off Panathur Road near the Outer Ring Road, where Sobha Developers  is building 7,000 luxury flats. Nearly 1,000 flats have been occupied.  

 

The story so far

* Two labourers are confirmed dead and two are treated for cholera complications.  

* Labour Department officials have taken statements of the sheds' occupants.

* The department has given time  until Jan 8 for Sobha Developers to respond to their notice.  

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