Fifty-seven minor girls tested positive for COVID-19 at a state-run children’s shelter home in Kanpur. Of these, five were found to be pregnant and one also tested HIV positive, The Print reported. One of them is also reported to have  tested positive for hepatitis. The shelter home has now been sealed and the staff has been put in quarantine. The administration has, however, said that the girls were already pregnant when they were brought to the shelter home. All the COVID-19 positive girls are being treated at the Kanpur Medical College.

No Males Are Allowed To Enter The Shelter Home

Speaking on how the girls got pregnant, UP Women’s Commission member Poonam Kapoor told the media, “No males are allowed to enter the shelter. Such matters shouldn’t be twisted — the girls were already pregnant.” She also told the media that some staff members had gone to Kanpur’s Hallet Hospital (now known as Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital/GSVM Medical College), which turned out to be the source of the COVID-19 infection.

Also Read: Bihar Shelter Home Horror: 40 Girls Raped, One Killed

Priyanka Gandhi Takes Cognisance

Taking cognizance of the matter, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi posted on her Facebook handle, “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.”

The girls reportedly started showing COVID-19 symptoms since past few days. The local administration informed the state health department about this on Friday. Kanpur’s Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Kumar P. said, “Many are spreading rumors that these girls got pregnant while at the shelter home, which absolutely isn’t true. This is not a case akin to Muzaffarpur. We haven’t been able to access all the documents due to the shelter being sealed, but when we get them, it will be clear since when they have been pregnant. We will also be able to find who came and went in the last two months, and how the coronavirus spread.”

Kanpur District Magistrate addressed the media on this issue and said that in their knowledge, seven pregnant girls were living in the shelter home. He added that these girls were already pregnant when brought to the shelter home. Also, an investigation is going on in these cases under Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO).

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