Woman locks herself and son in house for three years to avoid catching Covid
A woman in India locked herself and her 10-year-old son in their home for three years out of fear of contracting Covid-19, officials said.
The woman, identified as Munmun Manjhi, and her son – residents of Gurgaon city near Delhi – were rescued by authorities this week after her husband approached the local police station.
A team of police, health officials, and members of the child welfare department reached the residence on Tuesday and broke open the main door to rescue the mother and son, according to Indian media reports.
Videos and photos on social media showed disturbing scenes of clothes, hair, garbage, dirt, and groceries scattered inside the house.
The woman was reportedly in a state of panic due to the pandemic and believed her son would die if he left the house, Indian media outlets reported, quoting officials.
“It was very difficult to convince my wife to get herself and my son out as she feared both would contract Covid. Whenever she came out, I would accompany her to the nearby market and she would buy several things at once,” Suran Majhi, the father, was quoted by the Indian Express newspaper as saying.
Indian news channel NDTV reported that the mother used to cut her own and her son’s hair at home and cooking was done through an induction stove to avoid any outside contact.
Additionally, the news channel reported that the garbage in the house was not thrown out for three years, and the child had not even seen the sun in that time.
During the confinement, the woman did not allow anyone, including her husband, to enter the house. The only way the husband stayed connected with his family was through video calls. He told the Indian Express he would be asked to drop the groceries and essentials outside the door.
“I couldn’t hold back tears when I first held my son after three years. I kissed his forehead and promised him our family will be back together like before,” the father told the newspaper.
After the rescue, the mother and son were taken to a hospital for treatment. The incident has raised concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and the need for mental health support during the pandemic.
India witnessed one of the deadliest death tolls from the Covid-19 pandemic in the world. However, the number of new infections has gone down to a few hundred in recent months.
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