An East Godavari village has turned into a hotspot soon after a man died of COVID-19, leaving officials grappling to find the source of infection. Nearly 2,000 people have been tested so far in Pedapudi mandal, according to the tahsildar, and at least 45 of them have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday.
The cases started to come to light after a 53-year-old man from Gollala Mamidada village of Pedapudi mandal died on May 20. He was tested for COVID-19 and the results came back positive, after which authorities began to test his contacts.
The man worked as a cashier at a tea stall, and also worked as a photographer occasionally. Soon, his wife and son tested positive, along with some of the people who came in contact with him at the tea stall where he worked. Revenue and police officials in Pedapudi are now tracing primary and secondary contacts of both the 53-year-old man and his son.
Pedapudi Tahsildar Rajyalakshmi said that the man might have contracted COVID-19 from his son, who had been going out of the house and socialising a lot. “People who were in contact with the man and his son are also testing positive now. Police are still looking for the source of infection,” Kakinada Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) Raghu Babu said.
With the lockdown restrictions being partially relaxed, the tea stall was in operation, the revenue officials said. “The man who prepared tea at the shop has also tested positive. He often travelled to Ramachandrapuram town nearby,” the RDO said, adding that the “tea master” might have contracted COVID-19 there and been the source of infection in Pedapudi.
So far, around 47 cases have been detected in Pedapudi mandal. While most of them are from G Mamidada, 1 case each from Rajupalem and Peddada have also been detected. An RMP (Registered Medical Practitioner) in Mamidada has also tested positive for
The Tahsildar added that the man had also attended an engagement function locally, and that some members of the family involved in the function had also contracted COVID-19.
Contacts are being asked to home quarantine, and those who test positive are being admitted at Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) in Vizag, or GSL General Hospital in Rajahmundry.