Fifty-seven girls at a state-run children’s shelter home in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district have tested positive for COVID-19, with five of them found to be pregnant, an administration official told the Press Trust of India on Sunday.
Two other girls in the shelter home, who are also pregnant, have tested negative for the virus, he said.
NDTV reported that all 57 girls had been shifted to COVID-19 hospitals, while staff and those girls who were not infected had been quarantined. The entire shelter has been sealed.
“The five pregnant girls, who have been found COVID-19 positive, were referred by the Child Welfare Committees of Agra, Etah, Kannauj, Firozabad and Kanpur under the POCSO Act. Two other pregnant girls have tested negative for COVID-19. The seven girls were pregnant at time, when they came to the shelter home,” Kanpur DM Brahma Dev Ram Tiwari told reporters on Sunday
The district magistrate added that two girls are undergoing treatment at LLR Hospital in Kanpur, while three others are undergoing treatment at private hospital.
UP State Women’s Commission Poonam Kapoor told media the girls were probably infected after shelter home staff visiting a Kanpur hospital with two girls came into contact with COVID-19 patients, NDTV’s report said.
The clarifications came after outrage over local media outlets reports that said at least two of the girls were found to be pregnant during a medical examination, NDTV said.
In a Facebook post, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had attacked the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the media reports about the girls being found pregnant at the shelter home.
“The entire story of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case is in front of the country. Such a case had also come to light in Deoria in UP,” Priyanka Gandhi said.
In this scenario, such an incident again coming out shows that everything is suppressed in the name of investigations, but very inhuman incidents are taking place in government child protection homes, she said.
(With PTI inputs)