Photo for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Reuters

Patna: A groom who died the day after his wedding has left more than 30 villagers with COVID-19 infections, causing panic in the area. All the villagers had attended the feast thrown by the groom who died on June 17.

The groom who hailed from a village in Patna district worked in Gurgaon. On June 15, he had come from Gurgaon by a private vehicle and headed straight to the wedding venue in Patna’s Naubatpur block.

A grand feast

Villagers said the groom had fallen sick even while the wedding rituals were being performed, but somehow they were completed and the groom was sent back home early next morning with the bride by his side.

In the evening, a grand feast was organised for the wedding guests. A large number of villagers attended the dinner party.

The very next day, the groom’s condition worsened and he was rushed to a government primary health centre located at Paliganj block. With his condition showing no signs of improvement, he was moved to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Patna. However, he collapsed just when the vehicle carrying him had reached the gate of the hospital.

No tests conducted

After his death, grieving family members brought his body home and cremated it without informing the health authorities and without conducting any tests to see if he had contracted COVID-19.

In the meanwhile, some alert villagers reported the matter to local officials and informed them about how the groom had died soon after his wedding. They also informed them that the groom had come from Gurgaon in Haryana, one of the Indian states badly affected by coronavirus.

A team from the state Health Department rushed to the spot soon and collected samples from 125 villagers who had attended the wedding feast. Soon, 15 of them were found to have returned positive test results.

Close monitoring

On June 20, state health authorities collected samples from 81 more people from the affected areas. Of them, 16 were found to be COVID-19 positive.

“Majority of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are those who had attended the wedding feast,” health official Dr Ramanujam told the media on Wednesday, adding that the situation was being monitored closely.

The increasing number of coronavirus positive cases in the past one month has alarmed the state administration. In the past few days, more than a dozen doctors, health workers, policemen and politicians have tested positive, further adding to the worry of the state government.

Quarantine centres closed

According to the latest report of the state Health Department, coronavirus has claimed 55 lives and infected 8,180 people in Bihar. Of the total number of positive cases, 5,174 are migrant workers who had returned home from their places of work in other states after a nationwide lockdown was announced on March 23 to contain the outbreak.

The state government has already closed down the 13,000 quarantine centres that had been instituted all across the state. People coming into the state from outside have been advised to be in home quarantine unless they had serious complications.