Tipperary’s Adi Roche says at least 30 children and 15 staff have contracted COVID-19 in orphanage

At least 30 children and 15 staff members of Vesnova orphanage in Belarus have now contracted COVID-19.

Clonmel native, Adi Roche, who runs the Chernobyl Children International charity says they are still doing all they can to help.

These children and young people would normally be arriving in Ireland around now to stay with their Irish host families – many of whom are local.

Speaking on Tipp Today, Adi said her charity still needs donations to keep fighting the battle for them:

“Unfortunately the virus has continued to spread there. We did have some children who were hospitalised and we did manage to get that to happen. But, thank God, we were able to jump into action straight away.

“The main thing was to be able to respond to send the medicines, the painkillers, the cough bottles, the PPE for staff and we managed to do that despite all the challenges we had.”

Adi says it’s thanks to the donations of people in Tipperary and elsewhere that they’ve been able to get some supplies to them, but the battle is in no way won:

“The fact that we did the exposé on the outbreak there [back in April] actually opened a huge can of worms because it transpires of course that this wasn’t the only institution and many other institutions have similar breakouts and we’re actually responding and reacting for the children in other institutions now as well.

“But we have a wonderful team of staff. In that institution, we actually employ close to 30 staff. Now, even though half of them have COVID-19, we’re still managing to keep the place going.”

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here.