A couple in northern India on Monday decided to get married at a COVID-19 care centre, donning protective suits for the ceremony, after the bride tested positive on their wedding day.
The photos and videos of the wedding have gone viral on the Indian social media space, with some calling it the `Great Indian Pandemic Wedding’ while others congratulated the couple on the marriage.
Photos shared by health authorities shows the couple, the priest and three close relatives wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) gear at the ceremony, where the pair took marital vows in a traditional Hindu ceremony that involved them making rounds around a sacred fire.
Three regional officials were also present at the wedding in Rajasthan state’s Baran district, to ensure it was done in accordance with “full COVID-19 protocol’’ including ensuring physical distancing, the region’s chief medical officer, Sampat Raj Nagar told dpa.
The marriage was replete with drama as health teams came to know the COVID-19 results at the last minute, stopped the bride and her family from reaching the wedding venue and instructed them to report to the COVID-19 centre instead.
“The families were in a dilemma but insisted that, according to customs, they had to go ahead with the wedding since some initial rituals were done.
Respecting their sentiments, the administration gave the approval for the marriage at the centre with all necessary checks,” local health official, Sheikh Arif, who supervised the wedding, said.
The health authorities not only provided PPE kits to the bride and bridegroom and the relatives but also erected a small canopy in the COVID-19 centre where the wedding took place.
In the video, the priest, wearing a white PPE suit, can be heard chanting Sanskrit mantras and passing instructions to the couple for the wedding rituals.
The two later hang garlands upon each other amid showering of petals and clapping by the relatives and officials.
“We were really tense but managed to conduct this unusual marriage in times of COVID.
“The bride and her mother, who also tested positive, are now quarantined at the centre.
“We will do follow-up tests and it is only when she (bride) gets a negative COVID-19 report that we will release her and she can go to her husband’s place,’’ Arif said.
The photos and videos of the wedding have gone viral on the Indian social media space, with some calling it the ‘Great Indian Pandemic Wedding’ while others congratulated the couple on the marriage.
India has the world’s second-largest caseload after the United States, with more than 9.6 million infections and 140,573 deaths.