PATNA: Twenty-three members of a family at Panjwar village in Raghunathpur block of Siwan district, about 150 km away from Patna, alone account for over one-third of Bihar’s 60 corona cases. Siwan has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot in Bihar with 29 cases, forcing the Nitish Kumar government to seal the borders of the district and to deploy Bihar Military Police (BMP) to enforce the strict lockdown.
The chain of infection in the family began after a male member returned from Oman. On Friday, state’s Health Minister Mangal Pandey told the media that this man infected a large number of his family members because he ignored rules that advise self-quarantine after returning from abroad.
Sources revealed that the man had met his relatives and acquaintances and even played cricket after he initially tested negative. The trouble unfolded after a few days when the second test confirmed that he had COVID-19. Locals refused to speak at length to the media and outsiders fearing stigma.
A drone has been deployed for monitoring the lockdown and for keeping a strict vigil in and around the sealed areas in the district.Bihar’s Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey told the media that one company of BMP has been sent to Siwan for sealing the areas and for isolating hundreds of residents within a radius of 3 km. The borders of Siwan with East Champaran, Gopalganj and Saran districts were sealed in order to prevent spread of community infection.
Apart from Siwan (29), COVID-19 cases in the state were reported from Munger (7), Patna, Gaya and Begusarai (5 each), Gopalganj (3), Nalanda (2) and Saran, Lakhisarai, Bhagalpur and Nawada (1 each).