Fifty-seven inmates, including five pregnant girls, of a shelter home in Kanpur have tested positive for coronavirus in the last four days. A woman Class IV employee at the shelter also tested positive.
Of the five pregnant girls, one is HIV positive while another is infected with Hepatitis C, said Deputy Chief Probation Officer Shruti Shukla.
Kanpur District Magistrate Brahma Deo Ram Tiwari said the five girls were pregnant when they came to the shelter home and are from Agra, Etah, Kannauj, Firozabad and Kanpur.
“The pregnant girls are victims of offences committed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO)… Two of them were pregnant when they reached the home in December. They are around eight months pregnant,” said Shukla.
The spread of the virus came to light when one inmate was found positive in a random sampling test on June 12, said the home superintendent. Following this, all the 171 inmates were tested in the last four days and 57 of them, aged 15-17 years, were found to be infected.
The shelter home houses inmates between 10 and 18 years of age, and they are kept there on the directions of the District Child Welfare Committee (CWC). The remaining 114 girls and 37 employees have been quarantined in a separate building.
The Kanpur administration is trying to trace how the virus reached the home. Officials suspect that the Covid-positive staffer could be the source as she would visit hospital with inmates for their treatment. This month, six girls have come to the shelter home and one of them has tested positive.
“All 57 girls and the woman staffer of the girl’s home have been admitted to hospitals,” said Shukla.
The shelter home also has a women’s protection home on its campus. Samples of all the inmates were negative, said Shukla.
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