As many as 57 minor girls have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at a government-run children’s shelter home in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, with five of them found to be pregnant.
Two more girls who did not have the virus were also found to be pregnant, officials have confirmed. The information has sent the UP administration into a frenzy, even as officials said the girls were pregnant before they were brought to the shelter home.
The shelter home, located at Swaroop Nagar, has been sealed by the district administration and the staff has been quarantined.
The administration has clarified that the five girls were pregnant before they were brought to the shelter home from various districts. Three of them have been admitted at the Rama Medical College, while two were sent to Halett Hospital.
District Magistrate Brahmdev Tiwari said all the girls have been quarantined at Covid hospitals as per the protocol. “Out of these five girls were pregnant. They were brought here from various districts under POCSO Act at the orders of Child Welfare Committee. They were already pregnant when they were brought here,” he said.
Kanpur SSP Dinesh Kumar also said that these minor girls were already pregnant when they were brought to the shelter home. “They were sent here on the recommendation of the Child Welfare Committees of various districts. Cases were registered in this regard in their respective districts and trials are underway. No girl got pregnant after coming to Kanpur or during her stay at the shelter home,” he said.
The girls at the shelter home have been exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms for a few days, and the local administration informed the state health department about this Friday.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi took up the issue of the girls being found pregnant and alleged that the government was suppressing facts.
“The case at the shelter home in Muzaffarpur (Bihar) is in front of the country. A similar case also emerged in UP’s Deoria. So, for another such case to emerge shows that in the name of probes, everything is suppressed. But there are many inhuman incidents happening at state-run child shelter homes,” she wrote in a Facebook post.