Kanpur: In one of the most unfortunate and shocking news stories, a total of 57 minor girls at a state-run shelter home tested positive for Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur which has recently emerged as one of the major Covid-19 hotspot of the country.

The deadly Coronavirus took its grip in a Kanpur based shelter home and adding worst to the layers of the matter, it has been revealed that five of them were pregnant while one was HIV positive.

After being dragged under the spotlight, the shelter home has been immediately sealed and its staff members have been placed under strict quarantine. However, the initial probe into the matter has unfolded major negligence on the part of administration which led to the spread of the deadly disease to numerous minors at the shelter home.

The Kanpur Shelter-home was reported on June 15. Within two days of one girl getting infected by Coronavirus, as many as 33 more tested positive.

However, the administration took no prevention is facilitating medical aid to the inmates. The working staff as well as the minor girls weren’t moved for quarantine or isolation which could have restricted the virus to spread further.

More worst was yet to come when 16 more girls of the same shelter home tested COVID-19 positive on June 19, and a day later, at least eight more reported to be infected with the deadly disease. Upon acknowledging the surge in numbers of infected cases in the shelter-home, the administration decided to seal the premises and shift rest of the home inmates to the quarantine centres.

At present, a total of 58 people from the state-run home are admitted to a hospital including 57 girl inmates and one employee.

Reacting upon the developments, opposition parties have slammed the ruling government. While Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi called the condition in government shelter homes “inhuman”, another party leader Jitin Prasada has demanded strict action against the officials and said the reports are “horrific”.

Meanwhile, an IANS report quoted a senior police official involved in the probe who revealed to the news agency that the seven minor girls who were found pregnant were undergoing pregnancy when they were rescued months back.

“The seven girls who are pregnant, were already pregnant when they were rescued and brought to the shelter home in Swaroop Nagar. These girls are from Agra, Kannauj, Etah, Firozabad and Kanpur and were brought here six months ago when they were already two-month pregnant. Five of these seven girls have tested positive for corona,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kanpur, Dinesh Kumar P. said

The office added that the two of the other pregnant girls have been referred to the Hallett hospital after one of them was found to be HIV positive and the other was infected with Hepatitis C.

The Kanpur shelter home incident reminds us of a similar sexual abuse case which took place in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur last year. The Kanpur case has raised eyebrows and has brought Yogi Adityanath-led UP government under the scanner. Opposition parties including Congress and Samajwadi party have demanded demanded a probe into the alleged physical exploitation of girls at a state-run shelter home.

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