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Coronavirus | Madhya Pradesh man jumps quarantine, gets a haircut and infects six

Policemen stand guard near a containment area in Badgaon village, Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Special Arrangement  

A man who escaped quarantine and went to a barber for a haircut is believed to have caused at least six COVID-19 infections in a village in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh.

Six men who went to the same barber tested positive for the virus.

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“We don’t know yet whether they used the same napkin or had direct contact with each other,” said District Collector Gopal Chandra Dad.

The first patient, who escaped quarantine, had carried back the virus from Indore, officials said. A waiter at a restaurant there, the man was quarantined after some of his colleagues tested positive. However, he escaped to his native Badgaon village. 

As the roads were closed owing to the lockdown, he took the forest route on foot. On the way, he called his brother-in-law, who took him back home on a motorcycle. The next day, he got a haircut, said District Superintendent of Police Sunil Kumar Pandey.

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Villagers informed authorities about his presence as he had returned from Indore, a source of infection for at least seven of the 61 patients in Khargone. They took his samples, which tested positive. The next day, the whole village was sealed. 

 “We got to know he had visited a barber who was offering services at home. We traced the contacts of the patient, and took samples of 12 persons, including the barber,” said Mr. Pandey. “It is obvious why the barber didn’t contract it. Barbers frequently clean themselves and use disinfectants while offering services.” 

Their samples were collected on April 7. But the results came in so late from a government-run hospital in Indore, on April 23, that the six asymptomatic patients had already completed their 14-day isolation period. “We will test their samples again before discharging them from hospital,” said Mr. Dad.

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Khargone is among the three neighbouring districts of Indore which have seen surging mortalities. As many as six patients, or 10% of them, have died of the disease. The four districts, including Ujjain and Dewas, together account for 85% of the 103 deaths in Madhya Pradesh. 

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 3:11:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-madhya-pradesh-man-jumps-quarantine-gets-a-haircut-and-infects-six/article31437198.ece

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