A wedding ceremony held in Patna, Bihar, in mid-June, is being called a "super-spreader" event after the groom died from coronavirus complications, and at least 95 guests tested positive for the virus. According to Outlook, the man, who has only been identified as a 30-year-old software engineer based in Gurugram, passed away just two days after the June 15 ceremony.
The man had reportedly fallen ill before the event, according to officials who spoke under the pretense of anonymity. He had returned home for his marriage in the last week of May. He had begun showing symptoms of COVID-19 shortly after the "tilak" ceremony, a pre-wedding tradition in which the groom is welcomed before beginning his life as a married man. By the day of the wedding, the man had a fever and had reportedly requested that the ceremony be postponed, though family members, who had him swallow paracetamol tablets, insisted that it continue as planned.
Just two days later, however, the unnamed man was rushed to the hospital in Patna after his condition worsened. He died on the way to the hospital, and his body was cremated. As his family did not inform the authorities of his death, he was not tested for coronavirus.
After somebody called the district magistrate, all close relatives of the man who had attended the ceremony were administered coronavirus tests. Of those tested,15 rendered positive results. In an effort to contain the spread, a camp was set up at the village in which the ceremony occurred, with officials administering tests to a further 364 people, of which 86 tested positive. Business Today reports that the bride, who also was not named, tested negative for the virus. The majority of those who tested positive have been asymptomatic, though as a precaution, they have been admitted to isolation centers in Bihta and Phulwarisharif. Block Development Officer Chiranjeev Pandey said Meetha Kuan, Khagari Mohalla and parts of Paliganj Bazaar have been sealed for thorough sanitization.
According to the administration, the wedding ceremony had ignored guidelines meant to slow and prevent the spread of the virus, including social distancing recommendations. Currently, guidelines only permit a wedding ceremony attendance of 50 people or less, though the ceremony had more than 350 guests. Authorities have ordered an investigation into the matter.
According to CBS News, India is the world's fourth-worst affected country by the numbers for coronavirus, with close to 600,000 confirmed cases and more than 17,000 deaths. Globally, confirmed cases have surpassed 10.5 million, and there have been more than 510,000 deaths.