Panic gripped passengers of a Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) bus on Monday when a couple travelling on the bus received news that they had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The incident took place around 12.15 pm on Monday when a couple -- a 57-year-old man and his wife -- were aboard a bus going from Panruti to Vadalur in Cuddalore district. There were around 15 passengers in the bus apart from the couple, the driver and the conductor. They had undergone a COVID-19 test at the Cuddalore Government Hospital on Sunday but decided to visit a relative the following day.
As their test results returned positive, the hospital authorities went to their house to inform them and bring them to the hospital. However, as per reports, the couple was not there and the house was locked. Therefore the authorities called the man on his phone and realised that he was on a bus, travelling back to his house. Deciding that the best thing in the situation would be to speak to the bus conductor so that the situation can be handled in a better way without panicking others, the officer on the other end told the man to give the phone to the conductor and informed the conductor about it.
But the conductor panicked and spoke loud enough to be heard by the other passengers on the bus. While the health officer told the conductor to stop the bus at a particular place, the conductorâ€™s palpable fear forced passengers to get down and flee before they reached the spot. Health officials finally reached the spot and took the couple to the Raja Muthiah Medical College Hospital in Chidambaram while the bus conductor and driver were taken to Vadalur Government Hospital for testing. The other passengers, however, were not traced.
The bus was later taken to the depot immediately for disinfecting.