A COVID-19 patient, who ignored a home quarantine order to attend a cousin’s wedding in Dombivali earlier this month was booked by the police Saturday. A 60-year-old woman, who was among nearly 50 people who came into contact with him during the wedding festivities, also tested positive on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Dombivali resident had returned to Mumbai from a work trip to Turkey on March 15. At the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, he was ordered by health department officials to stay in home quarantine for 14 days and marked with a stamp on the hand, the police said.
However, just three days later, he attended the haldi-kumkum function on the eve of the wedding at a ground near his home. The police said that the youngster had come close into contact with 15 to 20 people on that day. The following day, the man attended his cousin’s wedding. D V Raut, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Bhiwandi Division), said that at least 25 people attended the ceremony.
On Tuesday, the man eventually went to Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai after feeling unwell and tested positive for COVID-19. Doctors at the hospital alerted the police, who began to trace all those the man had come into contact with. Investigations revealed that not only had the man flouted home quarantine orders, but that the functions he had attended had also been organised in contravention of orders issued by the Thane district collector on March 14, banning all religious and social gatherings indefinitely. “A 60-year-old woman, who had attended the haldi-kumkum function, tested positive on Saturday,” Raut said, adding that she has been admitted to Kasturba Hospital.
While several others who came into contact with the man have tested negative for the virus, results of some others are awaited. “We cannot rule out the possibility of more people, who came into close contact with the man, testing positive,” Raut said.
The police registered three FIRs under the Epidemic Diseases Act and Section 188 (violating an order issued by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code on Saturday. While the first FIR was lodged against the man for roaming freely in spite of being ordered to stay in home quarantine, the second was against his cousin and his family for organising the haldi-kumkum function in Dombivali. The third FIR was lodged against the cousin’s in-laws for organising the wedding.
Meanwhile, 41 more violations of curfew orders were registered in Mumbai on Friday, most of them for crowding public places and for driving vehicles without a valid reason.