Groom dies, 111 guests test positive for COVID-19 after wedding in India

The chief medical officer in Bihar, Raj Kishor Chaudhary, confirmed all 111 people who tested positive had been “identified and isolated,” adding that the majority of them were asymptomatic. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 02 July 2020

Groom dies, 111 guests test positive for COVID-19 after wedding in India

  • The man, 26, had been admitted and discharged from hospital before his wedding on June 15

LONDON: A groom in India who was suffering from suspected COVID-19 symptoms before he got married died two days after his wedding ceremony, while 111 of his guests tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The man, 26, had been admitted and discharged from hospital before his wedding on June 15 and was keen to cancel the wedding, but was advised against it by relatives due to the “huge financial losses” it would incur, local media reported.

It is not clear if he died directly from the virus because his body was cremated before any tests were carried out, officials in the state of Bihar said.

The chief medical officer in Bihar, Raj Kishor Chaudhary, confirmed all 111 people who tested positive had been “identified and isolated,” adding that the majority of them were asymptomatic. 

The bride and her family tested negative for the disease.

He added that anyone who attended the groom’s funeral would also need to self-isolate.According to media reports, around 300 people attended the wedding ceremony, while 200 attended the funeral.

An investigation has started into social distancing violations that may have taken place at both events. India’s coronavirus restrictions only allow for 50 people to attend weddings and 20 people to attend funerals.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India number 607,000 and more than 17,000 people have died as a result of the virus.


Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

Updated 13 August 2020

Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

  • Spotlight on economy, security as 67 officials take oath in palace ceremony

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa administered the oath of office to 28 new Cabinet ministers and 39 state ministers on Wednesday during a swearing-in ceremony at the Kandy Royal Palace, a week after the Aug. 5 general elections.

“The Cabinet has been formed in a pragmatic and a realistic manner to implement the national program. Special attention was paid to national security, economic development, infrastructure, education, health and sports,” a Presidential Secretariat statement said.

While President Rajapaksa retained the defense portfolio, his brother, Namal Rajapaksa — the 34-year-old son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa — was named minister for youth and sports.

Several senior politicians, including former president Maithripala Sirisena, were left out of the new Cabinet.

The ninth parliament is set to meet on Aug. 20.

Only two members from minority communities, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and Justice Minister Ali Sabry, were appointed from the Tamil and Muslim communities, respectively.

“I’m delighted to get this portfolio in recognition of my services to the nation, particularly to the legal field,” Sabry said.

He is the second Muslim justice minister to assume office after Rauff Hakeem of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party, led by PM Rajapaksa, polled 6,853,690, or 59 percent of votes, and secured a total of 145 seats in parliament, including 17 of the National List seats.

Sabry said government efforts to limit the coronavirus pandemic had “impressed the nation enough to vote them into power.”

Lawyer Razik Zarook said: “It’s a great victory for the Muslim community. The era of mistrust and suspicion is over, and the foundation is laid to build the bridges of friendship and amity.”

However, international political lobbyist Muheed Jeeran told Arab News that though the Cabinet is promising, it is “full of confusion.”

“Sabry’s appointment has disappointed the nationalist group who want to implement one nation, one law,” he said.

“But it is a joyful moment for Muslims who supported the SLPP. However, it will be difficult for Sabry as justice minister. Will he become the wooden handle of the axe to chop the tree of traditional Muslim laws as per the nationalist agenda, or will he stand for Muslim rights?”