Weddings have largely been banned across the world in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, some countries have loosened restrictions and some citizens have not followed restrictions regarding weddings. In India, this has proven to be a mistake.
A wedding which took place in the Patna District of Bihar, a state in India, effectively started a COVID-19 chain, as 113 people tested positive and the groom passed away. It has been reported that this was the largest chain of infection in the state thus far.
The wedding took place on June 15. At the time, the 30-year-old groom had a high fever. Two days later, on June 17, he passed away and was cremated without receiving a COVID-19 test.
Subsequently, more than 360 people from surrounding towns were tested as part of contact-tracing efforts, and testers were still trying to get a hold of additional possible carriers of the virus, according to Health Department officials in the area. The bride, however, had not tested positive.
Some of the groom’s relatives were infected at the wedding, and fifteen of these guests are believed to have spread the virus to others who were not in attendance. According to the Indian Express, most of those who tested positive were asymptomatic and were admitted to isolation centres.
The entire region where the wedding took place (Paliganj sub-division of Patna) was then declared a containment zone and sealed. A special camp was also set up at the village from June 24 – 26 so that people could easily be tested. At the camp, 86 more people tested positive, according to Hindustan Times.
According to a relative of the groom, the wedding was not cancelled for fear of monetary loss, despite the fact that the grom knew he was not well. “Even though he was feeling unwell by June 14 and wanted the wedding deferred, family heads from both sides advised against it, citing huge financial losses if the arrangements had to be cancelled,” said the relative.
Apparently, nobody had considered that the man was a COVID-19 patient since rural areas had been mostly safe from the virus .” As rural areas are almost Covid-free, we were relaxed,” said the same relative.
NDTV reported that the restrictions in the state say that no more than 50 people are allowed to be in attendance of a wedding. At this particular wedding, there were approximately 350 guests. Thus, the district magistrate ordered an investigation into those attending the wedding in violation of COVID-19 restrictions.