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Mumbai: More testing, screening to be done at children’s homes

12:37 AM Sep 01, 2021 | Dipti Singh

As many as 40 children, including seven staff members of two different children’s homes in Mankhurd and Agripada were tested positive for Covid-19 in less than a week. This has put the BMC on alert.

The civic body has directed officials of all 24 wards to inspect all the children’s homes, orphanages, and boarding schools in their jurisdiction.

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This comes, after 18 children from Mankhurd home tested positive in just three days between August 25 and 27. The home is run by the Children’s Aid Society and comes under the Maharashtra government’s women and child development department.

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All the 18 children who were tested positive were admitted to Videocon Athiti Covid-19 Care centre at Vashi and are stable.

A couple of days ago, 22 people, including 15 minors, from St Joseph’s School and Orphanage in Agripada, Byculla, had contracted the virus. Later, on Saturday, 14 children at an Ulhasnagar home also tested positive. These outbreaks have kept the authorities on their toes as experts have warned that the third wave will affect children.

“Owing to multiple cases emerging from children’s homes and boarding schools, we do not want to take any risk.”

“The screening and testing at these homes, boarding schools and orphanages across all wards will be carried out in a phased manner. Early detection will allow us to isolate patients at the earliest,” said additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani.

Covid-19 restrictions in the city have been relaxed after the Covid19 caseload started declining in the city. People who have taken both doses of vaccine were allowed to travel in local trains and visit public places like malls etc. However, on Monday, BMC has warned that cases are again on the rise and the civic body made the containment measures at the sealed buildings stringent.

"Covid19 case positivity rate in Mumbai is close to one per cent. New cases are rising marginally each day, from 300 to 450 cases daily. We have increased testings,” Kakani added.

During the first Covid19 wave in Mumbai, 5.6 per cent of the total patients were children and below 19 years of age.

In June 2021, 13 per cent of children and youth below 18 years were affected by the virus. At present, 10.8 per cent of children and youth are infected in Mumbai.

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