More than 100 people who attended a wedding ceremony in Bihar on June 15 have tested positive for the coronavirus, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. The groom also died two days later but could not be tested for Covid-19 as his family had already cremated him.
Over 350 guests had attended the wedding, which took place in Paliganj, about 22 km from Patna, on June 15. The groom, an engineer based in Gurgaon, was reportedly unwell at the time. He was treated at a hospital in the city for diarrhoea, a symptom of Covid-19, but his family had reportedly forced him to take medicines and go ahead with the wedding rituals, according to NDTV.
“Even though he was feeling unwell by June 14 and wanted the wedding deferred, family heads from both sides advised against it, citing huge financial losses if the arrangements had to be cancelled,” an unidentified relative of the groom told The Indian Express. By the day of the wedding, the groom was running high temperature. On June 17, his condition worsened and the family took him to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Patna. However, he died on the way.
The man’s family cremated him without informing the authorities. However, the case was brought to the administration’s notice when an anonymous call was made to Patna’s District Magistrate Sri Kumar Ravi.
When authorities started identifying and testing all close relatives of the groom on June 19, as many as 15 were found to be infected with Covid-19. A special camp was the organised by the district authorities between June 24 and 26 to test, identify and isolate more potential cases who attended either the wedding or the groom’s funeral. Of these, 86 samples returned positive.
On Monday, these numbers were part of the state’s highest single-day rise of 394 coronavirus cases. All of them have now been isolated.
“Our first priority now is to prevent the infection and break the chain,” Paliganj Block Development Officer Chiranjeev Pandey said. “We have sealed parts of the neighbouring Meetha Kuan, Khagari and some parts of the sub-urban marketplace of Paliganj.”
Bihar has reported 10,043 coronavirus cases, including 67 deaths, till Wednesday morning.