Bengaluru Gets Free Covid Child Care Centres

Offering free services, these centres are for children with families or those at child care institutions who have tested positive. Also, for children who have lost their parents or those whose caregivers are unwell.

The Covid positive children receive medical attention at the centre

Bengaluru:

Special Covid care centres are coming up exclusively for children in Karnataka's capital city Bengaluru as a devastating second wave of coronavirus, also affecting younger people, sweeps the country.

Offering free services, these centres are for children with families or those at child care institutions who have tested positive. Also, for children who have lost their parents or those whose caregivers are unwell.   

"I was with my uncle and auntie. I lost my mother and my father is not in touch with me. When I was positive, my uncle also contracted Covid. He did not get a bed in Karnataka. They went to Tamil Nadu. No one was there to look after me," a young girl, who was moved to a centre on the outskirts of the city, told NDTV.

Late one night, Dream India Network picked her up and brought her to one of its centres. She was cared for and has now tested negative.

"With the second wave of the pandemic, there has been a lot of news on social media with regard to the pandemic - children losing their parents, not being taken care of. We decided to have two types of centres. CCC for children infected - and the other type for children affected," Father Edward Thomas, Director, Dream India Network, told NDTV.

There are five such centres in the city set up and operated by Dream India Network with the support of the state government, hospitals and other NGOs. They follow the Child Protection and Covid Care Centre guidelines. The group plans to set up similar centres in the districts as well.

Used as a retreat earlier, the centre where the young girl is being looked after was converted into a place to heal for younger people battling this virus.

"Recently, when this pandemic came, we thought of making use of this retreat centre for the people who are suffering," said Father Sibi Matthew, who tested positive during the first wave, runs the retreat.

The Covid positive children receive medical attention at the centre itself.

"About 22 children turned negative and about 8 children are positive. The management is pretty simple. We supplement with vitamin C and zinc - that helps to boost their immunity. And if there are any symptoms we try to manage the symptoms. The children are doing pretty good. Their saturation and vitals are normal. They are recovering very well," said Dr Sampreeth, a doctor who visits the centre, said.

The centres act as a helping hand for vulnerable children in Bengaluru city.