Groom Dead, 111 Test Covid Positive. This Bihar Horror Should Serve as a Warning to Lockdown Violators


Groom Dead, 111 Test Covid Positive. This Bihar Horror Should Serve as a Warning to Lockdown Violators

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The coronavirus pandemic has shown no signs of slowing down, with fresh cases reported from across the country every day.

A wedding that was held two weeks ago in Bihar has now turned into a tragic affair, and is being labelled a super-spreader. The bridegroom died after showing coronavirus symptoms.

In the days since his death, at least 111 who attended the ceremony tested positive for Covid-19, leaving authorities scrambling to track and trace all guests.

The groom, an engineer based in Gurgaon, had reportedly driven down to Patna for the ceremony, despite being unwell. According to reports, his condition worsened a few nights before his wedding.

The engineer was then treated at a Patna hospital for diarrhoea — a common Covid-19 symptom — but his family reportedly pressured him into going ahead with the rituals, citing financial reasons. Over 300 people eventually attended the Bihar wedding.

The groom died on June 17, a couple of days after the ceremony. He was not tested for the coronavirus, but district authorities were tipped off about his symptoms. In the following days, many guests and relatives were tested. As many as 15 cases returned positive.

Then, between June 24 and June 26, NDTV reported, a special camp was set up to identify both guests at the Bihar wedding and those who attended the groom’s funeral. Another 86 coronavirus cases were confirmed during this camp — all of whom have now been kept in isolation.

“Our first priority now is to prevent the infection and break the chain. We have sealed neighbouring areas,” an official with the district administration told The Indian Express.

On Monday, Bihar recorded its highest single-day spike in Covid-19 infections, with 394 confirmed cases. Many of these cases were said to be from the wedding. The state is just a few cases away from the 10,000 mark.

With the country now entering a fourth month under lockdown over the pandemic, several questions have been raised about how the Bihar wedding party could violate an order that restricts guest lists to a maximum of 50 people. Despite the Prime Minister’s renewed warnings on Tuesday, social-distancing norms seem to be going for a toss. This tragedy is just a reminder that now is not the time to let your guard down.