Kochi: There was none to care for six-month-old baby Unni after both his parents tested positive for COVID-19. Seeing the baby's predicament, Dr Mary Anitha offered to help and went into quarantine with the child.
The parents, from Perumbavoor in Ernakulam, worked as the nursing staff at a hospital in Haryana. The father got infected first while on duty. Once he was hospitalised in Haryana, the mother along with the child, who suffer from kidney ailments, returned to their native place.
The mother tested positive for the disease while she was under quarantine. The baby was also tested but the results were negative.
But then questions were raised over who would care for the baby. How can the baby be allowed to stay in a ward full of COVID-19 patients? Who will take care of the baby who was still being breastfed by the mother?
The ailing grandparents at the Perumbavoor house were in no position to take care of the baby. The doctors at the Medical College Hospital were also at a loss on what to do. The issue was even taken up by the Child Welfare Committee.
Finally, Dr Anitha, who runs the Centre for Empowerment and Enrichment for the differently-abled children in Kochi, came forward to help. She is also the nodal officer of the Jyothi project, an initiative of the Ernakulam district administration for such children. Anitha's husband, an advocate, and her three children also fully backed her decision. Thus, Dr Anitha went into quarantine with Unni.
“No one was willing to come forward to look after the child as many had concerns about the baby's parents who were tested positive. I knew that I would be able to take care of the child and took the decision after talking to my family. It didn't take much time for the baby to get along with me and I am happy that I am taking care of the child when he badly wants it,” said Anitha.
The results for the baby’s second test are also negative. His father was also tested negative. But he can only leave the hospital in Haryana after two more test results turn negative.
Even if he returns home, he will have to be in quarantine for 14 days. Only after this period can he take care of the baby.
The mother also has to recover from the illness. Anitha said that she will be there for the baby until then.
Anitha talks to the parents and lets them see their baby via video call. The parents are grateful to Anitha for her selfless gesture.