The otherwise nondescript hamlet in Pedapudi mandal in East Godavari district is now making headlines for having earned the dubious distinction of being the first village in the country to have 116 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of Wednesday.
On May 20, a 53-year-old Covid-19 infected person from the village succumbed to complications brought on by the virus at the Governmental General Hospital (GGH) in Kakinada within half-an-hour of admission.
The deceased, who was employed at a hotel and a photographer, is believed to have been a super-spreader on account of the nature of his job, as well as the delayed onset of symptoms. The patient directly or indirectly transmitted the virus to at least 150 people in Pedapudi mandal and neighbouring Ramachandrapuram, Anaparti, Bikkavolu and Mandapeta mandals.
It is believed that the deceased contracted the virus while covering a recent event in Ramachandrapuram.
It was also learnt that the deceased participated in a mask distribution programme conducted by a local organisation.
However, district officials are yet to trace the origin of the disease in the super-spreader. Further, the son of the deceased was also diagnosed with the disease around the same time as his father, raising doubts over who transmitted the virus to whom. According to officials, the son had thrown a party for his friends at a local bakery before testing positive.
The outbreak in these mandals, meanwhile, has pushed the Covid-19 tally in East Godavari above 300, of which super-spreader-related infections alone account for more than 50 per cent of the case-load of the district.
District officials have declared G Mamidada village a red zone and set up a special control room by drawing in officials from various departments.
East Godavari collector D Muralidhar Reddy said the deceased might have contributed to the outbreak in G Mamidada and neighbouring mandals after easing of lockdown norms after May 17.
“Tests are being done on all the primary and secondary contacts of the Covid-19 infected persons,” said the collector.
In Video:Super-spreader transmits coronavirus to 116 people in Andhra Pradesh