From landing at the Delhi airport after his return from Italy on February 20, to the time he was diagnosed with the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on March 12, a 46-year-old man from west Delhi’s Janakpuri came in contact with 813 people, the maximum for any patient so far in Delhi, according to contact-tracing efforts by health care professionals.
The man’s 68-year-old mother, who was also infected with the novel coronavirus, died at a hospital on Friday night, the second death caused by the disease in the country.
Family members of the 46-year-old said he recently returned from a work tour of four countries in Europe and Italy was one of them. Italy has seen an alarming spread of infections, with at least 1,400 deaths. He became the fifth person from the national capital to be infected by the highly contagious disease.
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When the man landed at the airport and came in contact with several people, he was screened by a thermal sensor. After his temperature was reported to be normal, he proceeded to exit the facility. “He was travelling with six colleagues, and all of them have tested negative. He did not show any signs and was going about his regular chores till he caught fever,” a relative said.
The infected man was in contact with his wife and two children at his Janakpuri house before he was diagnosed and isolated. His mother lived with his younger brother in a different house in the area. She would visit the 46-year-old frequently.
“All the family members have been tested negative. The house where he lived has been locked up. Everyone is scared. We have already lost one member,” another family member said.
Data provided by the Directorate General of Health Services shows that between contracting the virus and its detection, the man was in touch with 813 people. Out of this, 40 people are from Delhi and 773 from outside the city. The records also show that 14 people were in contact with man’s 68-year-old mother.
According to another family member, who asked not to be named, the man used the Delhi Metro to reach his office in Noida and attended work till the first week of March. The distance between the Janakpuri West and Noida’s Botanical Garden stations is 38.5kms, with 25 stops. Specific details of the local travel could not be found.
The man works at a private firm in Noida, which employs over 700 people.