- The wedding was held seven days after the groom returned from France
- Uncle of the groom said to be a lawyer and many VIPs attended the wedding
- He has now been quarantined and reception scheduled for Friday called off
A grand wedding took place in Warangal town of Telangana on Thursday amid growing fear over the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country. The wedding was held seven days after the groom returned from France, when he was supposed to be on a two-week quarantine. Over 1,000 people had attended the wedding, a source close to the family quoted the groom's father as saying.
The groom has been sent back to quarantine and the reception scheduled for Friday was cancelled.
A wedding guest said the event was well-attended and that neither the groom nor the bride or anyone else wore masks or followed any precautions recommended for those put under quarantine.
The groom had returned to Hyderabad from France along with a friend on March 12 and both of them were put under house quarantine. However, they travelled to Warangal for the wedding.
The uncle of the groom is said to be a well-connected lawyer from the district. Among those who attended the function were VIPs.
Stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has banned any more bookings of wedding halls for weddings or other large-scale events. He also asked those who had already made arrangements to opt for low-key events.
As soon as this reporter tweeted, the Telangana administration reacted, saying holding the wedding was a huge public health hazard.
For hundreds of people returning from outside India, the Telangana administration has made quarantine facilities available. As many people complained about facilities being inadequate, several of them were sent home on condition that they would self-quarantine and report any symptoms of coronavirus infection to the local authorities.
However, multiple videos have been shared by those in state-run quarantine facilities, complaining that they were not looked after well. Some have also alleged that quarantine norms were possibly not maintained.
Sai Chaitanya, a young man who returned from Germany two days ago and was put in a quarantine facility in Ranga Reddy district, complained about basic facilities not being provided.
"Our passports were taken away. Are we criminals? Why were we packed in buses and dropped off at these centres if facilities could not be provided by the government?'' he said.
Among those kept at the these quarantine centres were elderly and children. There were demonstrations and demands that they should be allowed to go home.
The state administration has been allowing people to go home after they give a self-declaration that they will put themselves under self-quarantine.
But in two cases that NDTV came across, that did not seem to be working. When we spoke to Sai Chaitanya on phone, after he and others were allowed to go home on Thursday night, he said he was under quarantine. But on phone, we could hear a woman's voice and a baby wailing, which seemed to suggest that there was physical proximity.
In the same neighbourhood in Ranga Reddy district, a woman who returned from the US and was given the option of home quarantine had domestic help coming in to help and later going out into the community.
The state administration is worried about the challenges and is deploying teams to track those under home quarantine. A senior officer and a medical officer are meant to monitor those under quarantine to ensure they follow the recommendations and report any symptoms that cause concern.