who tested positive for COVID-19 and require hospitalisation
are facing a major problem: how to take care of their children
who did not contract the disease.
Such parents are frantically calling up doctors of
private and state-run hospitals to get a solution, but there
is none so far as relatives and friends are not ready to
welcome their children for fear of getting infected.
"We have been getting calls from couples who tested
positive for coronavirus infection but their children did not.
They don''t have anybody at home to look after their children
when they are hospitalised," a senior executive of a private
hospital told PTI on Thursday.
A state government official and his wife had to leave
their 17-year-old son alone in their two-room flat in Garia
area of the city after testing positive for COVID-19.
"We called up our relatives, close friends and
neighbours to allow our son to stay with them for a fortnight
or sotill we are discharged from hospital. But everyone
denied citing one reason or the other. We had no other option
and he stayed alone at home," the agriculture department
The parents used their phones to help him manage
domestic chores for 10 days when they were at hospital.
"We were quite tense. We were at hospital and our son
was alone at home managing things single-handedly. We were in
touch through phones and video calls," he added.
The matter was worse for Sunit Mukherjee (name changed
on request), who runs an apparel shop at Behala in the
southern part of the city, when he and his wife were diagnosed
with COVID-19 but their four-year-old daughter and elderly
parents were absolutely fine.
"We had nobody to take care of our daughter and my
parents. I requested my sister and my brother-in-law to take
them to their place but they denied. The response from other
relatives and our neighbours is the same.
"So, my parents are managing things alone while we
both are here," said Mukherjee who, along with his wife, is
currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Rajarhat in
the eastern fringes of the city.
A senior doctor at the state-run COVID hospital said,
"This is quite a major problem for parents. We are getting
calls, but we dont know how to help them. It should be
addressed by the society itself."
Another government doctor said that social stigma and
confusion related to the disease are creating these problems.
"We ourselves have to decide whether we want to extend
a helping hand to a child when the entire globe is facing this
pandemic. We have to formulate a programme for this," he said.
West Bengal till Wednesday has 22,992 active COVID-19
patients and Kolkata accounts for the maximum cases at 6,736.