The novel coronavirus has greatly affected normal life in India. 223 people have tested positive as of Friday afternoon and both State and Central governments are taking a plethora of measures to contain the virus.
One of the main areas of concern is how infectious the virus is. If any person comes in contact with an infected person, they must be quarantined for 14 days to ensure that they too have not been affected. Against this backdrop, several people, on different occasions, had tried to run away from quarantine facilities, prompting the government to take stronger measures.
At such a time, the news of a Railway official hiding a coronavirus-positive family member does not sit well. A senior South Western Railway official was suspended for hiding her son after he tested positive.
The woman who had kept her 25-year-old son at the railway guest house near the Bengaluru station, was suspended recently. She had been meeting him daily, even as she went about her daily routine.
The man had been lodged there since March 14, soon after he returned from Spain. According to ANI, he had been working in Germany and had taken a flight from Spain to return to India. He is an entrepreneur with a start-up in Bengaluru.
Following the revelation, the man was placed in isolation. He was taken to a state-run hospital and tested for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday night. At the time that he tested positive, he had already spent five nights at the rest house.
"Disciplinary proceeding against the employee is contemplated. She will not leave the city during her suspension period without the permission of a competent authority," an official told IANS. The employee has been asked to give in writing the reason for keeping her son at the rest house when she has a house in the city's southern suburb.
The city's railway division has now found itself with the unenviable job of contacting every person who has stayed in the guest house from March 13 onwards to ascertain whether any of them might have come in contact with him. They are also looking into patrons of the nearby hotel where the man had eaten.
All employees working in the personnel section where the victim's mother works have also been screened and kept under close watch.