Three girls died in 48 hours in three separate quarantine centres across Chhattisgarh. According to officials, two died due to asphyxiation while they were being fed and the third, a four-month-old infant, had been ill for the last few days. Her COVID-19 report is still awaited.
All three children belonged to migrant families that returned to the state after restrictions on movement were lifted.
"Two babies, an 18-month-old and three-month-old, were severely malnourished," The Indian Express reported quoting sources.
Meanwhile, officials attributed the deaths to heatwave conditions prevailing over north India and overcrowded quarantine centres in the state.
"Strict action would be initiated if the administration finds lapses at the quarantine centres," State Health Minister TS Singh Deo said, adding that the system is overburdened with the increasing number of migrants returning home.
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Thursday’s death occurred at a quarantine facility in Balod district. Yuvraj Nishad, along with his wife and two children had returned to his village, Tenga, from Maharashtra on May 14. “The family came on a truck from Maharashtra. We sent the child’s sample on May 25, but the test results are awaited,” said a district official.
The 18-month-old died at a quarantine centre in Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi on Wednesday, three days after arriving from Bhopal. According to officials death was caused by asphyxiation after food got stuck in her throat.
Another three-month-old died on the same day at another centre in Kabirdham distict’s Bandhatola village. Officials said the child’s family had returned from Nagpur on May 11. "The child was severely malnourished and had been admitted to the local hospital before she died due to asphyxiation while being fed milk," sources said.
"Transit of migrants should have been regulated. There are limits to all systems. As of now, we have a severe backlog in testing because there are just not enough labs," State Health Minister told the newspaper.
29 more people tested positive for coronavirus in Chhattisgarh on Thursday, taking the tally in the state to 398. At present, 2,03,581 people are in 19,216 quarantine centres in the state, while 49,614 people are in home isolation as a precautionary measure.Follow Moneycontrol's full coverage on the coronavirus pandemic here