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.


Russia says suspected mercenaries detained by Belarus were going to Latin America

Updated 32 min 35 sec ago

Russia says suspected mercenaries detained by Belarus were going to Latin America

  • Belarusian authorities have said they suspect the men entered their country to plot “acts of terrorism” and destabilize it before an Aug. 9 presidential election
  • Russia has close relations with a number of Latin American countries including Venezuela, and sent dozens of military personnel to Caracas last year

MOSCOW: A Russian diplomat said on Monday a group of more than 30 suspected Russian mercenaries detained in Belarus last week were only passing through Minsk and were on their way to an unnamed Latin American state.
Belarusian authorities have said they suspect the men entered their country to plot “acts of terrorism” and destabilize it before an Aug. 9 presidential election.
Russian officials have dismissed the accusation and described the men as employees of a private security firm. The Russian state says it does not use mercenaries.
The standoff could further strain relations between Minsk and its traditional ally Russia, which soured after the neighbors failed to agree on an oil supply contract for this year.
“Their final destination was one of the states in the Latin American region,” the diplomat, Kirill Pletnyev, was quoted as saying on Monday by the Russian RIA news agency.
Belarus granted Pletnyev consular access to the detained men, RIA added. His quotes did not name the Latin American country or give any more details on the identity of the men.
Russia has close relations with a number of Latin American countries including Venezuela, and sent dozens of military personnel to Caracas last year, describing them as military specialists.
On Friday, Alexander Agafonov, the head of the Belarusian investigative group that is handling the case, said the arrested men — some of whom were wearing army fatigues — had given “contradictory accounts” about their plans.
He was quoted as saying that 11 of the arrested men had told authorities they planned to fly on to Venezuela, 15 to Turkey, two to Cuba and one to Syria. Another said he did not know his destination, while three refused to make a statement.
Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko, who has said he wants a full explanation from Russia, faces his biggest electoral test in years on Aug. 9 as public anger swells over his handling of COVID-19, the economy and human rights.