LUCKNOW: 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 said on Sunday.
Moreover, seven of the inmates are pregnant of whom, five tested positive for the virus, two others tested negative, Kanpur divisional commissioner Sudhir M Bobde and DM Brahmdeo Ram Tiwari confirmed.
Among those five, one also tested positive for HIV and another for Hepatitis C.
The shelter home has total 171 of whom 53 are minor inmates who all are the victim of sexual assault under POCSO Act from 14 districts in and around Kanpur.
According to Kanpur DM Brahmadeo Ram Tiwari, 33 inmates had tested positive on June 17 and 24 more were found infected in corresponding days.
“All of them have been sent to Covid hospital for treatment," said the DM adding that the shelter home was sealed for sanitisation who also claimed that those girls had come from Agra, Kannauj, Firozabad, Etah and Kanpur Nagar on the directions of Child Welfare Committees of respective districts.
They all were allegedly victims of sexual assault and their cases were being pursued under POCSO Act.
Out of 33 inmates found positive on June 17, 18 belonged to women’s protection home and 15 to girls’ protection home. All 24 found infected thereafter were for the minors’ home.
AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra raised questions on the pregnancy of the inmates based on media reports, in a Facebook post and also took to Twitter to accuse the state government of suppressing the facts and also referred to the Bihar Shelter home case and also the one in Deoria in eastern UP.
"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.
UP State Women Commission member Poonam Kapoor, referring to the 'suspicious' pregnancies claimed that she would regularly visit to the shelter home and that there was no reason for concern.
(With PTI inputs)