Over 720 children in child care institutions in 11 states and Union Territories have contracted COVID-19 till now and no fatalities have been reported, according to data from the country’s apex child rights body. The data, which was shared by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in response to an RTI query from PTI, also stated that 686 children living in child care institutions (CCIs) have been infected with COVID-19 so far this year.
Last year, Uttar Pradesh was the only state out of the 11 states and Union Territories (UTs) to report coronavirus cases among children in CCIs. It had reported 35 cases, according to the data. This year, no coronavirus case has been reported yet from such institutions in Uttar Pradesh, it stated.
According to the commission’s data, no death due to the coronavirus infection has been reported among children residing in CCIs from these 11 states and UTs.
Out of 721 children in such institutions, who contracted the infection, the highest number was reported from Haryana (288) followed by Tamil Nadu (149) and Bihar (131), according to the data.
It stated that the number of COVID-19 cases among children in CCIs in Mizoram was 46, Karnataka 37, Delhi 19, Telangana seven, Gujarat six, Chandigarh three. No case was reported from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, stated the data of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights for 11 states and UTs.
There are 857 CCIs in these states and UTs and 33,695 beneficiaries reside in them, according to government data. In June, the Women and Child Development Ministry had asked states to make suitable arrangements for isolation facilities within CCIs to take care of children suffering from COVID-19 and prepare a roaster of child psychologists or counsellors to visit the facilities and interact with them.
To ensure institutional support through CCIs, the ministry had also asked states and UTs to organise special inspection drives in collaboration with district magistrates, for assessment of quality care at all CCIs for ascertaining the wellbeing of children.
CCIs were also directed to ensure proper facilities such as clean and hygienic living conditions, basic amenities, quality food and safety for all children from the infection.