Fifteen members of a joint family in Hyderabad tested positive for Covid-19 after the death of the head of the family, a day after an engagement ceremony at their house. The incident came to light a week after the ceremony was held at a building in the Puranapul area in the old city in violation of the lockdown norms.
According to police, the 57-year-old man died on May 11, a day after the engagement ceremony. He tested positive for coronavirus.
The officials of the Health Department and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) sent the remaining 26 members of the joint family for screening and of the 15 tested positive.
A total of 40 persons had attended the engagement of the granddaughter of the deceased. "All were sent for screening but only 15 members of the bride's family were found positive," said a police officer from Mangalhat police station.
He denied that 200 people had attended the ceremony. He said following a tip-off, the police had booked a case against the family under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant.
It was a day after the ceremony that the head of the family suddenly took ill and died. The subsequent investigations by the health authorities revealed that he had picked up the virus from his son, a bank employee who contracted the infection from his friend.
The old man, his three sons and their children all stay in one building in Puranapul. Eight of the 15 tested positive are children.
They were all undergoing treatment at state-run Gandhi Hospital.
Under the lockdown norms, only 20 people are allowed to attend a marriage ceremony.
Violation of lockdown norms to hold marriages, engagements and birthday parties have led to the spread of Covid-19 in few areas in Hyderabad and outskirts.
In another case, a 42-year-old woman in Alijapur in Manikonda municipality tested positive after attending a marriage ceremony last week. She contracted the coronavirus from another guest at the function. They were admitted to Gandhi Hospital. Five more guests were sent to King Koti Hospital for testing. They include a 60-year-old man and a one-and-half-year-old child.
Hyderabad and surrounding districts of Ranga Reddy and Medchal account for more than 60 per cent of over 1,500 Covid-19 cases recorded in Telangana so far.