The Andhra Pradesh government is not just rescuing street children but also testing them for Covid-19. A total of 837 children have been tested in the last three days.
Three of them tested positive on Tuesday — one case was reported from Vizianagaram while the remaining two were from Prakasam district. Results of 617 children, who were tested in the next two days, are awaited.
This campaign is part of a broader effort ‘Operation Muskaan,’ – an initiative by the Union government to trace, rescue and rehabilitate missing children. Some children would also be reunited with their families.
The Andhra Pradesh police force, led by the Director General of Police Gautam Sawang, rescued 2739 kids within three days after 'Operation Muskaan Covid-19'was flagged off by the DGP on Tuesday.
This includes 2,398 boys, 341 girls, out of which 47 hail from states other than Andhra Pradesh.
As part of the campaign, the AP Crime Investigation Department (CID) will trace child labourers, homeless children at bus stands, railway stations and other public places and get their Covid-19 tests done in nearby hospitals.
If they test positive, they would be admitted to a hospital for treatment. Later on, they would be handed over to their respective families or sent to rehabilitation centers.
State DGP Sawang had instructed that state-run rehabilitation centres to ensure that education is provided.
While 2,560 of them have been handed over to their respective families, 179 have been accommodated in state-run child care homes under the supervision of relevant experts, according to a statement from the state government.
As part of the operation, mandatory screening is done for the rescued children to help determine if anyone of them needs to be tested or any other medical attention required.
The operation, which is in its sixth-phase, will continue till July 20. The rescue team would also comprise of Crime Investigation Department (CID), Department of Women and Child Welfare, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), members from the health department.
As of Thursday, the total number of positive Covid-19 cases in Andhra was 38,044 and 492 people have succumbed to the virus.