Fifteen members of a family that had conducted an engagement function during the lockdown, tested positive for the novel coronavirus at Puranapul area of Hyderabad on Sunday. The cases came to light after a 58-year-old man who was part of the family died on May 11. The man had a history of heart disease, and was tested for COVID-19 after his death. The members of the family who exhibited symptoms were also tested, and 16 people, including the deceased, tested positive on Sunday, according to the police.
A day before the 58-year-old man died, the family held an engagement ceremony at their residence. The bride was the granddaughter of the deceased. At least 20 members of the family live in the same building, the police said. "Once we got a tip-off that there was a gathering we sent a constable as they were violating lockdown measures," said G Ranaveer Reddy, Inspector, Mangalghat police station. “There were some 40 guests -- most of the people at the function were residents of the same building,” he added.
According to the union government's guidelines, marriage-related gatherings are allowed as long as people ensure social distancing, and the maximum number of guests at the function is not more than 50.
Police have booked the family under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). The family has been shifted to Gandhi Hospital for treatment.
According to the police, the son of the deceased, a bank employee, was the first to contract the disease from a friend he met, who later tested positive. Even on the day of the engagement ceremony that took place on May 10, the bride was unwell, said the police officer.
“The bank employee, his wife, children, two brothers, three sisters and his cousin sisters all staying in the same building have tested positive,” said the inspector. ”The area is not a containment zone, the health department tested another 40 persons in connection with the family who attended the function. They are all negative,” he added. The officer refuted reports that claimed there were 200 persons in attendance at the function. “We filed a case against them for lockdown violation.”
In another case from Hyderabad recently, while tracing contacts of a woman who tested positive for the virus, it was found that the patient visited a public sector bank for a transaction. Thirteen employees of the bank were tested thereafter.
In another instance, 25 people residing in an apartment building in Hyderabad's Madannapet area, tested positive for COVID-19. All 25 of them were shifted to the Gandhi Hospital and a containment zone was set up, blocking entry and exit into the apartment alone by setting up a tall barricade around the main gate.
Telangana as of Sunday has recorded 1551 COVID-19 cases and 34 deaths.