The family of the wife of a Google employee in Bengaluru, whose husband tested positive for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, on Thursday, allegedly misled health authorities over her whereabouts, it emerged this evening.
The family allegedly told officials who had come to admit her to hospital that she had already left for Delhi. However, after the police were called in, the woman's family persuaded her to come out and be taken to the isolation ward for observation.
The 25-year-old woman, who only got married last month, had arrived in Agra on March 9 after flying from Bengaluru to Delhi and then taking a train to Agra. She and her husband had reportedly returned from a honeymoon in Italy.
"We need to act legally against this family for not cooperating and then telling lies before a magistrate. Have issued letter to CMO (chief medical officer) to get FIR registered," Prabhu N Singh, District Magistrate (Agra), said.
The woman and her family have been admitted to the isolation ward of a city hospital. Her father and sister are both Railway employees and have been told to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
"The daughter of one of our employees is a suspected coronavirus patient. We have sent the employee and one other on 14-day quarantine leave and will take further action if required," a senior Railways official said.
The District Magistrate has also said a request had been made to the Divisional Railway Manager (Agra) to take appropriate disciplinary action.
As per established protocol, all those who have had contact with an infected individual are at higher risk of infection and, potentially, infecting others. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says this includes identifying contacts and, in some cases, quarantining or isolating individuals.
COVID-19 spreads through contact with respiratory droplets when a person coughs or exhales, meaning social distancing has been suggested as key in containing the virus.
There are over 80 confirmed COVID-19 cases in India, with at least two deaths linked to the virus. A 68-year-old woman who died in Delhi on Friday night and a 76-year-old man who died in north Karnataka on Thursday both tested positive.
As part of its response, the government has shut borders to existing visas - except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment and project - till April 15. Also, on Friday Home Ministry officials also said that 18 of 37 border checkposts would be closed to international traffic.
Various states have also reacted, with Kerala, Delhi and other governments shutting down public spaces such as malls and cinema theatres, closing schools and colleges and banning large gatherings, such as Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches.
On Saturday both Bengal and Goa announced similar measures. Also on Saturday leading IT major Infosys announced it will temporarily close a Bengaluru office.
The COVID-19 outbreak began in a market in China's Wuhan district in December last year and has claimed over 5,000 lives and infected 1.3 lakh people since.
The World Health Organisation has said the novel coronavirus a pandemic, meaning it has spread worldwide and affected huge number of people.