Kanpur shelter home coronavirus cases raise questions after 57 girls test positive in 6 days
As many as 57 girls, with five of them pregnant, at a UP-run children's shelter home in Kanpur district on Sunday tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The initial probe into the Kanpur shelter home case has revealed shocking lapses on part of the district administration, which was the reason for the spread of deadly infection at the government-run shelter home in Kanpur.
An investigation found that it was on June 15 that the first case of novel coronavirus was detected in the shelter home after a girl tested positive for Covid-19.
Sources told us that two days later, 33 more tested positive for coronavirus on June 17. The administration, however, didn't isolate the staff and the shelter home inmates immediately.
On June 19, 16 more girls in the Kanpur shelter home tested positive for coronavirus. It was after these new 19 cases of coronavirus that the administration sealed the building. The rest of the Kanpur shelter home inmates were shifted to quarantine centers.
A day later, eight more girls tested positive — taking the total tally of infected girls in the Kanpur shelter home to 58.
At present, 57 girls and an employee at the Kanpur shelter have been admitted to different hospitals in the city.
A Kanpur official, on the condition of anonymity, also told that during the Covid-19 outbreak, when social distancing is must, the shelter home housed 171 girls. The Kanpur shelter home is made to house only 100 inmates.
Multiple attempts to reach the administrative officials have been made, but an official is yet to comment as to why the building of the Kanpur shelter home was not sealed when the first case emerged.
It also remains unclear why the Kanpur administration failed to isolate others girls after the first case came to light on June 15. The administration also took no steps after maximum 33 cases were reported on June 17.
On Sunday, Kanpur DM Brahma Dev Ram Tiwari told reporters, “The five pregnant girls, who have been found Covid-19 positive, were referred by the Child Welfare Committees of Agra, Etah, Kannauj, Firozabad and Kanpur under the POCSO Act. Two other pregnant girls have tested negative for Covid-19. The seven girls were pregnant at time, when they came to the shelter home."
The district magistrate added that two girls were undergoing treatment at LLR Hospital in Kanpur, while three others are undergoing treatment at private hospital.
In a Facebook post, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had attacked the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the media reports about the girls being found pregnant at the shelter home.
"The entire story of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case is in front of the country. Such a case had also come to light in Deoria in UP," Priyanka Gandhi said.
In this scenario, such an incident again coming out shows that everything is suppressed in the name of investigations, but very inhuman incidents are taking place in government child protection homes, she said.