More than 100 people who attended a wedding in Bihar on June 15 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, in an incident being widely described as yet another example of community transmission. Samples from the bridegroom, who died a day after the wedding, have yet to be tested.
111 guests attended the wedding of a man from Paliganj block of Patna district early this month. The groom, who was an engineer in Gurgaon, drove down for his big day. However, during the wedding his condition deteriorated and he was treated at a Patna hospital for diarrhoea – a possible COVID-19 symptom.
Subsequently some of his relatives also developed symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus. Their samples returned positive for the virus.
When the number of infected reached 15 a special camp was organised between June 24 and 26 to test, identify and isolate more potential cases from the nearly 400 people who attended either the wedding or the funeral.
Of these, 86 samples returned positive; all of them have now been isolated.
Earlier today Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Indians to strictly follow National Directives for COVID-19 management, including wearing face masks in public, frequently sanitising hands and maintaining social distance.
The directives, applicable to all regions of the country, also state that marriage-related gatherings cannot have more than 50 guests. Those for funerals are restricted to 20.
Bihar has 9,744 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, with 62 deaths linked to the virus. The number of people to have recovered so far is 7,544. However, per million testing in the state remains among the lowest in the country. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has set his government a target of 15,000 tests per day.