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COVID-19: Bengal releases helpline number for children suffering from stress amid lockdown


KOLKATA: Amid concerns that children might suffer from depression due to the ongoing lockdown, the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) has launched a helpline number through which psychiatrists and paediatricians would provide consultation to children for free.

According to the Chairperson of the WBCPCR, Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti, the commission since Wednesday has started a helpline with a team of 17 psychiatrists, paediatricians, counsellors and psychologists to help the children who are under stress due to lockdown.

"This has been done to help the children, who are suffering from boredom for being locked up at their houses due to this shutdown," Chakraborti said on Thursday.

Since they are not being able to go outside and play regularly, there are chances that stress and depression might creep in. So this helpline will help both the children and their parents to deal with such situations, she said. The mobile numbers of each consultant and time slot have been given in the list published by the commission. 

The helpline numbers have been circulated among various police stations across the city and state and also on social media.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday evening announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Meanwhile, an elderly man tested positive for the coronavirus in West Bengal, 10th case of the deadly viral disease in the state, health officials said on Thursday.

Of the ten afflicted with the disease in the state, one has died.

Roads in large parts of West Bengal were deserted on Thursday, the second day of the nationwide lockdown.

People, however, resorted to panic buying at several markets in Kolkata by violating the advice of social distancing.