Super-spreader wedding near Patna leaves 79 infected with coronavirus
Authorities in Bihar went into a tizzy after it was discovered that at least 79 of the 394 fresh cases of Covid-19 reported Monday were people who had attended a marriage ceremony at Paliganj near Patna on June 15 and that the groom, suffering from fever, had died just after two days of his marriage, without getting tested.
A health official said about 300 samples of guests at the function were collected and the number of positive cases among the could go higher.
According to sources, the groom, a resident of Dihpali village under Masaurhi block in Patna, had arrived home at Paliganj days before June 15, when his marriage was scheduled.
“The groom, a software engineer in Gurugram, was having fever and he had insisted not to get married on June 15. However, his parents gave him some medication and persuaded him otherwise,” a neighbour said.
“The groom’s father is a school teacher at Paliganj and has constructed a house there. He had invited his friends from the teachers’ fraternity, besides other people, for the wedding ceremony,” said Rampravesh Rai, a local businessman of the area.
The baraat went to Piplawan near Naubatpur block in Patna.
“Two days after his marriage, the condition of the groom deteriorated and before he could reach AIIMS-Patna, he died,” said Dr Abha Kumari, in-charge of sub-divisional hospital, Paliganj.
However, his family cremated the body without getting the Covid test done or informing authorities, said an employee of the hospital.
“The news of his death spread like wildfire and people who had participated in the wedding or were connected with the function in any way started arriving at the hospital to give their swab samples for tests,” he said.
Dr Kumari said when a medical team was sent to the groom’s house after his death, his family members claimed it was a heart attack case.
After the incident, the family has shifted to Masaurhi, apprehending trouble.
Dr Kumari said cooks and their family members, drivers and their kin, besides helpers and other people came and gave their samples. “Most of the patients are asymptomatic and after arrival of their report, they would be asked to remain in quarantine,” she said.
Another employee of the hospital said infection might have also spread to Piplawan also, where the wedding was held.