A "superspreader" groom is thought to have passed the novel coronavirus to close to 100 guests at his wedding before dying two days later. The 30-year-old software engineer from Delhi, India, developed symptoms of COVID-19, including fever and diarrhea, before requesting that his June 15 wedding in Paliganj, in Bihar state, be postponed, reports CBS News. "Family heads from both sides advised against it, citing huge financial losses," a relative tells the Indian Express. The ceremony went ahead, with more than 350 people in attendance, though Indian weddings are to be limited to no more than 50 guests amid the pandemic. "As rural areas are almost COVID-free, we were relaxed," another relative says.
The groom, who took over-the-counter medicine, died on his way to the hospital two days later and was cremated before a COVID-19 test could be performed, per CBS. But local authorities soon began testing the man's relatives. Some 15 tested positive on June 19, before another 364 people were tested. Of those, 86 tested positive, per the Indian Express. It describes 113 positive tests in all, noting some guests are believed to have infected others. Though the bride was reportedly spared, "many of the people who have tested positive ... attended the marriage ceremony," a health official tells the Hindu. Paliganj is now sealed as a containment zone while officials investigate how the wedding was carried out. (Read more coronavirus stories.)