New Delhi: A 70-year-old man, who on March 18 became Punjab’s first casualty due to novel coronavirus infection, defied self-quarantine rules and thus spread the virus to hundreds of people, reports have emerged. Also Read - COVID-19: India Reports Fourth Coronavirus Death From Punjab, Total Cases Climb to 173

The deceased, who was a Gurudwara priest, had returned to Delhi from Germany via Italy on March 6 after a two-week tour. He arrived in Punjab a day later and, despite having been through two of the worst coronavirus-affected countries, continued to socialise. Days later, he tested positive for COVID-19 and is thus believed to have spread the infection to at least 23 of the state’s 33 cases reported thus far.

On March 18, he complained of severe chest pain and was brought to a hospital, where he collapsed and died later in the day. 14 members of his family, too, have tested positive and are themselves believed to have played a role in transmission of the infection to various parts of Punjab.

A resident of Banga, he was also the country’s fourth case of casualty due to coronavirus after a death each was reported from Karnataka, Delhi and Mumbai respectively.

Incidentally, the day he died, another man from the state, a 23-year-old youth, committed suicide by jumping off seventh floor of Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital over fears that he had contracted the infection. However, days later, the youth’s test result came out negative, i.e, he had not contracted the infection.