Coronavirus update: Concerns over superspreaders rise as many breach quarantine

Updated on Mar 29, 2020 03:40 AM IST

In Maharashtra’s Sangli, four members of a family, who have tested Covid-19 positive, had returned from Saudi Arabia on March 14 and mingled with other people for the four days in absence of instructions for home quarantine.

Near empty view of an erstwhile busy Malviya Nagar Market in Delhi on day 4 of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Near empty view of an erstwhile busy Malviya Nagar Market in Delhi on day 4 of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySnigdhendu Bhattacharya, Joydeep Thakur & Yogesh Joshi

Kolkata/Pune: A 29-year-old woman, who was asked to stay in quarantine at home but violated the instructions and travelled by two trains from New Delhi to reach West Bengal’s Tehatta, has tested positive for Covid-19 along with her four family members and mounted concerns about super-spreaders of the infection.

What has complicated matters is that the people who came in contact with the family are refusing to admit they did so. The district administration has appealed to the local residents to voluntarily disclose whether they came in contact with the family so that it could put in place measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

A health official said the 29-year-old had on March 16 met a cousin in New Delhi, who had returned from the UK, following which she was advised to stay in-home quarantine.

The five were at their relative’s place in Tehatta between March 20 and 24 until being hospitalised after reporting symptoms of Covid-19. A number of the family’s relatives living in Tehatta have been isolated and their blood samples sent for tests. The results are awaited.

Ajay Chakraborty, director of health services, said the Delhi police should have informed them about the 29-year-old’s violation of the quarantine instructions.

In Maharashtra’s Sangli, four members of a family, who have tested Covid-19 positive, had returned from Saudi Arabia on March 14 and mingled with other people for the four days in absence of instructions for home quarantine.

Sangli district collector Abhijeet Chaudhari said the four were not on the list of people shared with them with foreign travel history. “We got to know about the foreign visit of this family locally following which we collected their swabs for testing even as none of the four showed any symptoms,” said Chaudhari.

On March 22, the four tested positive and prompted the administration to put at least 47 people under home quarantine. “Of the 47 samples collected, 24 tested positive and rest negative. Considering that the positive cases who did not go to Mecca [Saudi Arabia] may have also come in contact with other relatives, we home quarantined around 300 and are monitoring them,” said Chaudhari.

Maharashtra minister Jayant Patil said they have put in place a containment programme under which only one person from one family is being allowed to step out for buying essentials.

Around 500 families have been notified to stay at home and the city administration has to ensure supply of essentials for them. The entry and exit points to the city have been sealed.

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