A wedding in India turned out to be a coronavirus super-spreader, killing the groom – whose family ignored his wishes to postpone the nuptials amid his spiking fever – and infecting more than 100 guests, according to reports.
The 30-year-old software engineer developed diarrhea and a high fever before his June 15 wedding, but his family forced him to swallow a painkiller and go through the ceremony, which was attended by more than 360 people in Paliganj, the Hindustan Times reported.
Two days later, his condition took a turn for the worse and he died on the way to a hospital, according to the news outlet. His body was quickly cremated without being tested for the coronavirus.
All of the deceased man’s close relatives were tested for the illness on June 19 and 15 were confirmed to be infected.
In a desperate attempt to prevent the spread of the disease, a camp was set up where samples were taken from the other attendees. Of those, 86 have tested positive, officials said Tuesday.
The bride was not among those who tested positive for the bug.
“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 canceled,” a relative told the Indian Express about the groom.
Another relative, who tested negative, said no one suspected that the groom had COVID-19.
“As rural areas are almost COVID-free, we were relaxed,” the relative told the news outlet.
By the day of the wedding, he was running a high temperature, raising some concerns among his relatives, who “prayed that it was not COVID infection,” the relative said.
“He performed all the pre-wedding functions after taking Paracetamol,” he added, referring to the brand name for the over-the-counter acetaminophen.
Community official Chiranjeev Pandey said: “Our first priority now is to prevent the infection and break the chain. We have sealed parts of the neighboring Meetha Kuan, Khagari and some parts of the sub-urban marketplace of Paliganj.”