Rajasthan: Groom's family to pay for treatment after "super-spreader wedding"
A lavish wedding ceremony in Rajasthan's Bhilwara has given sleepless nights to officials, who are toiling day in and out to keep coronavirus cases to a minimum. It has been learned that several wedding guests have contracted the infection. Now, authorities have levied a fine of over Rs. 6 lakh on the groom's family. The family will pay for medical treatment too. Here's more.
One guest tested positive days after attending wedding
The wedding happened in the Bhadada area on June 13 and the groom's father had apparently assured guidelines will be followed. But six days later, one guest tested positive. A contact tracing exercise revealed that 16, including the bride, groom, and his father, were infected. The groom's grandfather passed away. Consequently, a total of 58 guests were sent for quarantine at government facilities.
Wedding defied the "only 50 guests" rule; authorities levied fine
Despite the Centre directing that not more than 50 guests can attend a wedding party, the guest list of this particular function went beyond 1,000. Three wedding functions were held too. Taking serious note, Bhilwara district collector levied a fine on the groom's family. Separately, in a FIR, the family was accused of violating Rajasthan Epidemic Diseases and the National Disaster Management Act.
Meanwhile, in Bihar, one wedding became super-spreader; groom died
Thousands of kilometers away from Rajasthan, a wedding in Patna has also become a super-spreader, starting the biggest chain of transmission in Bihar. The groom, who worked as a software engineer in Gurugram, died on June 17, just two days after the wedding. As many as 113 people who attended the wedding are said to have tested positive.
Apparently, the sick groom wanted the wedding to be postponed
Reports said the groom drove all the way from Gurugram to his village in Paliganj in the last week of May for the event. He wasn't feeling well by June 14 and wanted the wedding to be deferred. However, both families insisted that the wedding must happen as per plans, citing financial losses. They believed rural areas have been coronavirus-free, hence, there's no risk.
The groom died while on his way to AIIMS, Patna
The groom's health dipped in the following days. When his "big day" arrived, he developed a fever and performed the pre-wedding rituals after gulping down paracetamol. On June 17, when the situation got out of control, he was taken to AIIMS, Patna. He died mid-way. Even then, the family didn't inform authorities and cremated him in a jiffy. However, someone informed the officials.
Close relatives of the groom were tested, dozens tested positive
Soon, officials launched a massive contact tracing and testing exercise. All close relatives were tested on June 19. Of them, 15 tested positive. From June 24 to 26, a camp was set up, and samples of some 364 people were collected. 86 of them tested positive. The sudden rise in Bihar's coronavirus infections (the tally stands at 9,988) was linked to this careless wedding.
For now, officials just want to "break the chain"
As this incident sparked off panic in the area, Paliganj Block Development Officer Chiranjeev Pandey said they are only focused on breaking the chain. "We have sealed parts of the neighboring Meetha Kuan, Khagari, and some parts of the sub-urban marketplace of Paliganj," he informed.