The Karnataka government has refuted a news report that a woman fled Bengaluru and went to her parents’ home in Agra after her husband tested positive for COVID-19, The News Minute reported on Saturday. Her husband, a Google employee, tested positive only on March 12, three days after she left for Agra, the government said.
Sudhakar, minister of medical education, said the couple went for their honeymoon to Switzerland and Greece and returned to Mumbai on March 6. From there, they returned to Bengaluru on a flight that landed around 10 pm on March 8. The woman travelled to Delhi by the 1.40 am flight on March 9 and then reached her parents’ home in Agra.
The husband developed symptoms at his workplace on March 9 and his samples went for testing the next day. He tested positive on March 12.
The government said clear details were not given about the wife’s journey when the husband fell sick. “The wife never entered Bengaluru,” an official said at a daily press briefing. “She could have flown from Mumbai to Delhi but maybe she wanted to drop the husband in Bengaluru and say goodbye. They were on a honeymoon.”
The husband, who is in hospital, also confirmed that the woman’s travels in India were between March 8 and 9, The Indian Express reported. “My test was carried out on 10th, which was only confirmed by 12th,” he said. “It is untrue that she purposely travelled outside the city despite knowing about my condition.”
He added that the couple have tickets to prove their travel dates in India.
However, it is not clear whether the family of the woman misled local health authorities about her whereabouts. The family told officials who had come to take her to hospital that she had already left for Bengaluru, Agra Chief Medical Officer Mukesh Kumar Vats told The Times of India.
A person who identified himself as someone who knows the couple claimed on Facebook that the woman had been quarantined in Agra at a hospital that was unhygienic and the family had sought permission to leave. The authorities allowed them to go home on the condition that they wear face masks but visited them the next day to take her back, he said. “The entire drama that unfolded later was because they were requesting for a better isolation ward,” he added.
The person explained the woman’s immediate departure to Agra after reaching India by saying that it is a tradition for brides to celebrate their first Holi after marriage at their parental home, and the visit was planned months in advance. Holi was celebrated on March 10.
Meanwhile, Agra District Magistrate Prabhu Narain Singh said he has directed the chief medical officer to file an first information report against the woman and her family for actions that could have allegedly endangered lives. “When the woman came from Bengaluru and we got to know her husband was positive, we asked her to stay at home in isolation,” he claimed. “When our team went there Friday, we were told she had left for Bengaluru via Delhi. Her father told me she had left on a train. When we sought the train details, the father said she had gone on a general coach. However, we put her phone on surveillance, and her location was found to be in Agra itself. I then sent a police team and she was found hiding in her house.”
The woman’s sample have been sent for a second round of tests and she is placed under isolation now. Eight of her family members tested negative and are in home quarantine.