A man who returned from Dubai last month and 11 of his family members have tested positive for the coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district, days after he organised a feast for 1,500 people in honour of his dead mother, NDTV reported on Saturday. The local authorities have sealed the entire colony to prevent it from becoming another coronavirus hotspot.
As many as 26,000 of those who attended the event, their contacts and their relatives have been put into home quarantine following the man’s diagnosis, PTI reported. A total of 27,881 people have been home quarantined.
The man works as a waiter in Dubai. He came to Morena on March 17 and organised the ceremony on March 20. He developed symptoms of the virus on March 25, but reportedly visited the hospital only on March 29. He and his wife were quarantined, and on Thursday, they were found positive for Covid-19.
“He organised a customary feast on March 20 to mark the 13th day of mourning after his mother’s death,” Sub Divisional Magistrate RS Bakna said. Later, the local authorities tested 23 of the man’s relatives. Ten of them were found to be positive for Covid-19. Bakna said authorities sealed the entire Ward No 47 where the man lives.
“We sent 23 samples of the contacts of the two positive patients and received the reports on Friday,” Morena Chief Medical Officer RC Bandil said. “Out of them 10, including eight women, have tested positive for the virus. All 12 patients have now been quarantined at the hospital, while those who tested negative have been put under 14 days’ isolation at their houses.”
The authorities in Dubai had tested the man before he left for India, but he was found negative for the virus. However, he said his wife had fallen ill two days before they came to Morena.
“The number of fresh Covid-19 positive cases is likely to be much higher,” Bandil said according to the Hindustan Times. “We’re trying to contact each and every person who attended the feast, or those who’re invited by the waiter in person but couldn’t attend the function.”
The chief medical officer said the couple initially hid their travel history, but revealed it after testing positive for Covid-19. Bandil added that people are not volunteering information as they are scared of being admitted to hospital. However, 24 people have been admitted to the district hospital after their screening during contact tracing.
The news comes after a cluster blew up in Nizamuddin area of Delhi late last month. Members of the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic cult, had gathered at a mosque in the area last month. The participants at the congregation included foreigners. At least 1,000 people who have been linked to the congregation have so far tested positive for Covid-19.
In India, as many as 3,374 people have so far been diagnosed with the disease, and 77 have died, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.