A month before the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested a fake doctor in Bangarmau city for infecting at least 40 people in Unnao district with Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, the chief medical superintendent of the district hospital had sent a letter to the Unnao chief medical officer about the quack, The Indian Express reported on Sunday.

“On July 17, 2017, 12 people from the Bangarmau area tested positive for HIV,” Dr SP Chaudhary, who is now the chief medical officer, told the newspaper. “During counselling, they said they were treated by a local quack, who injected them using the same syringe.”

Chaudhary said as the chief medical superintendent of the district hospital then, he had written to the then Chief Medical Officer Dr Rajendra Prasad about the fake doctor.

On November 23, 2017, 13 more cases of HIV were detected in Bangarmau, Chaudhary said. “After joining as the CMO on December 29, I asked the medical department to organise camps in the area,” he said, adding that at least 33 new patients tested positive for HIV at these camps on January 24, 25 and 27.

“In all, 58 people, including four children, from the area tested positive” he told The Indian Express.

Unnao District Magistrate Ravi Kumar NG told the newspaper he was aware of a letter sent to the former CMO and has now asked for a “detailed report” into the “negligence and failure” of district medical officials. State Director General (Health) Dr Padmakar Singh, however, said he could not “disclose anything on the matter”.

Meanwhile, the former CMO Dr Rajendra Prasad, who is now CMO of the Basti district, disconnected the phone when asked him about the letter, the report said.