A 14-year-old girl from India has allegedly been raped in a COVID-19 treatment center, according to authorities. The alleged rapist is a 19-year-old patient at the COVID-19 treatment center.
A deputy commissioner of Delhi police, Parvinder Singh, investigated the incident at the center in the capital of India, New Delhi. He told CNN that the 14-year-old girl and the 19-year-old assailant did not know each other before the incident happened.
The rape happened in an isolated area at the treatment center and the friend of the 19-year-old rapist, a 20-year-old man, is said to have assisted in the crime.
Both the suspect and the victim had tested positive for COVID-19 and they were patients at the Sardar Patel COVID Care Center in Chhatarpur, New Delhi, which is located in the south of the city. The treatment center has 10,000 beds.
The authorities first registered the incident on July 16, after the family of the victim reported the attack. Singh added that the victim said the 20-year-old friend of the rapist recorded the rape on his phone and the authorities are now investigating that angle as well as the rape charge.
The incident has now been registered as a case under the POCSO Act or the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses. Singh said that the two suspects have now been arrested.
Both were transferred to a government hospital under judicial custody as both men are still being treated for COVID-19. The victim is also receiving treatment and has been transferred to another hospital.
India is one of the countries with the highest coronavirus cases in the world. There are now more than 1.28 million people who are infected with COVID-19, according to the tally at Johns Hopkins University.
India comes third with the United States leading the list with 4 million cases, and Brazil coming second with 2.28 million. On July 24, India reached a new record high as 49,311 people tested positive for the virus in just 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Over the weekend, India has seen a surge, as over 95,000 fresh cases have been recorded. However, the number could be higher as a recent study done by India's National Center for Disease Control found that almost 1 in 4 people in New Delhi may have been infected by the virus.
This suggests that the actual infections in New Delhi are more widespread than the number of cases that are reported.
Prime Minister's response
Despite the alarming number, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India's response to the coronavirus pandemic has "defied global expectations."
Modi said on July 26 at a radio address to the nation that the way Indians came together to fight against the virus in the last few months has proved the world wrong.
The Prime Minister also claimed that the virus recovery rate was better in India than in other countries in the world but he warned that the threat of the pandemic remained. He added that Indians need to still be vigilant and that they have to remember that the COVID-19 is still as dangerous as it was when it started.