The outbreak of COVID-19 proves to be a fatal threat to Government Aided Children’s Home, Calcutta High Court to take cognizance of the same

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In Re: Contagion of COVID-19 Virus in children Protection Homes

The on-going pandemic of COVID-19 has raised the high alarm of life threat through the country. Due to the imminent danger, the Calcutta High court in its own motion took cognisance of the care provided to children in the children home and issued directions.

After going through the reports the court saw discrepancies and or inconsistencies in the reports filed on behalf of the state.

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The matter was raised to the Women and Child Development and Social Welfare that 2904 children are logged in Government aided child care institutions, and though doctors are regularly visiting them, there is no reported case of COVID-19 in ay children, however, there are cases of influenza, cough and cold of children in few homes and no adequate treatment has been provided.

Apart from the above-mentioned information, there were children shifted from one home to the other, and they were kept in quarantine for 14 days, but whether social distancing was practised was still a question. The reports provided state that the area is been cleaned twice a day and including high touchpoints like doorknobs, calling bells, window grills are frequently cleaned.

Despite the report, there were many complaints raised from various homes regarding hygiene and facilities. Hence the court directed the Principal Secretary, Public works department too immediately to ensure the complaints were sorted too. The court further instructed Free of cost treatment and investigation for the inmates through Government health facilities or PPP model Laboratories/ Clinics and asked for statistics of the number of children screened and tested.

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The order was concluded with the mentioning that the Homes should be provided with sufficient groceries, food materials and other necessities. In the case of an all-girls home, it should be provided with adequate sanitary napkins.

The matter was to be heard on 30th April 2020, but to exigent situations, it was postponed further.


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