Eighteen children from a children’s home in Mankhurd at Mumbai’s eastern suburbs tested positive for Covid-19. All the infected children have been shifted to a Covid care centre at Vashi in Navi Mumbai. Officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said all of them are stable.
After two children from the centre, showed Covid symptoms of body pain and high fever, an RT-PCR test was conducted at the Shatabdi hospital on August 25. The test results of the two children came positive on Wednesday and Thursday, following which a special screening for 102 resident kids was organized.
Harish Nouni, medical officer of the M East ward said, “On August 25, one child from the home tested positive at the Chembur Shatabdi hospital and two more tested positive on August 26. Later, all the remaining inmates were tested and 15 more tested positive. We are keeping a watch on all of them. They have been kept in Videocon Athithi covid centre and will be treated for fever and cold if any. So far, they are responding well.”
A team from BMC conducted RT-PCR and antigen test on Friday at the children’s home. The test results of 15 children came positive. The civic official said all the children are admitted in Videocon Athiti Covid-19 centre. Out of the 16 children whose age break-up is available, one is nine-year-old, four are between the age group of 12 to 13, five are in the 14-to-15-year age group and six are in the age group of 16 to 17 years.
Civic officials said that another screening will be held after five days at the facility.
“Regular health check-ups of children are done. The guidelines of the government are strictly enforced in the organization,” said an official from the children’s home. According to the protocol, the orphanage has been sealed and sanitised and all other residents quarantined.
The Mankhurd campus has three children care institutions. Officials said that many staffers, including teachers and caretakers, who work at the three homes and other institutions in the city, stay in the quarters at Mankhurd.
This is the second time in the past couple of months that so many Covid-19 cases have been found at one place and it is one of the biggest clusters of patients under the age of 18.
On Friday, twenty-two people, a majority of them children and teenagers, tested Covid positive at St Joseph Orphanage and School in Agripada at Byculla. Of these 22, four children below 12 years, were admitted to the paediatric ward of Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central, and the remaining 18 were shifted to Richardson and Cruddas Covid Care Centre in Byculla.
In July last year, 29 people tested positive for Covid at the Mankhurd Mentally Deficient Children’s Home.