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Bihar village in shock after 15 from a single family test positive for COVID-19

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PATNA: Panic gripped Panjwar village in Raghunathpur block of Bihar's Siwan district, about 150 km from here, after 15 members of a single family tested positive for COVID-19 over the last few days.Siwan has emerged as the COVID-19 hotspot in Bihar with 29 cases so far of the 60 in the state.

Of these 29, 15 including five females belong to a single family. A male member of the family had returned from Oman carrying the infection. Sources said the man, while still under medical observation, played cricket and met several friends and acquaintances after he initially tested negative.

But a few days later, the second test came out positive and gloom descended over this village, which has a cluster of beautifully designed houses built with hard earned money from the Gulf.

None of the villagers agreed to speak at length except to say that they are in silent prayer to God as only he can save them. The link road from the district headquarters looks deserted with only some stray dogs and goats loitering around. They too were silent, seemingly having sensed that something was wrong.

"May God bless all of them as they haven't committed a sin knowingly. The village has a population of around 200 families and they were all smiles until a week ago," said a cop from the local police station. Seven more members of the family including five females aged between 11 and 25 and two males aged between 19 and 60 tested positive late on Thursday night, said health secretary Sanjay Kumar.

Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey, meanwhile, told the media that  one company of BMP (Bihar Military Police)-6 has been sent to Siwan to take command of sealing the area and isolating hundreds of residents within a 3 km radius.

A drone has been also made available to monitor the lockdown and keep a strict vigil in and around the sealed area. The borders of Siwan with East Champaran and Gopalganj and Saran were also sealed in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

589 samples were collected from Siwan for tests at RMRI, IGIMS and PMCH from April 2 to 8.

Health secretary Sanjay Kumar tweeted on Friday that the divisional commissioner of Saran division has been camping at Raghunathpur following the direction of the chief secretary to enforce a complete lockdown in Panjwar.

In Bihar, apart from the 29 cases in Siwan, there are 7 in Munger, 5 in Patna, 5 in Gaya and 5 in Begusarai each with one death earlier from Munger. Seventeen COVID-19 patients have also been cured in Bihar so far and testing facilities have been started at four places.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

48 Days ago

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