In a shocking incident, at least 23 people at the Asha Kiran shelter home for the intellectually disabled in northeast Delhi’s Rohini area have tested positive for COVID-19.
The infected include both adult and children inmates of the centre, including staffers.
The shelter home is run by the Delhi government’s social welfare department.
It houses 960 inmates, whereas it only has the capacity for 550.
Official sources informed that of the 23 inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 between June 5 and June 20, eight are children aged between 11-13.
“Seven of the infected persons are adult inmates and eight are staffers,” the sources added.
The staffers include caregivers, as well as a doctor, deputed at the facility, the sources further added.
It was also informed that of the total staffers, three tested positive in June first week.
One of them succumbed to the infection while three others recovered and are currently in home isolation.
“At present, 20 persons, including children, adult inmates and caregivers, have been admitted to different quarantine facilities,” reported Hindustan Times quoting shelter home’s administrator AK Kaushal.
“The children mostly had mild symptoms and have been shifted to the Sultanpuri Covid Care Centre,” Kaushal added.
“The others have been admitted to Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital in Ashok Vihar and GTB Hospital in Dilshad Garden,” he further said.
It is difficult for the children, as they need full-time support,” he said.
“Even though we have a staff crunch, we have deployed the children’s attendants at the facilities, as they are close to their caregivers and rely only on them for their needs,” Kaushal further said.
Kaushal further informed that the case was reported around June 3 when a caretaker tested positive.
“On June 3, one caretaker had tested positive for COVID-19. He came in contact with children on May 29 while serving them food and helping them eat,” Kaushal further informed.
It may be mentioned here that most of the inmates suffer moderate or severe intellectual disabilities and they require assistance in their day-to-day tasks.
Around 11 children were isolated soon after the first case was detected and all of them were tested where two asymptomatic children were found positive.
This was followed by another staffer testing positive for COVID-19 in June first week and he died on June 10.
Following this, tests were conducted at a larger scale and this revealed that many of them were infected.
Officials further informed that testing of inmates and staff is being done regularly and around 40 samples are collected every other day.
“All precautions are being taken and staff is now called in shifts,” informed a senior official who is presently in home isolation.
It was also known that everyone is thermally screened at the entrance, and except for the staff, no visitors are currently allowed entry in the shelter homer.