Patna: With five fresh coronavirus casualties in the past 24 hours, the death toll due to the disease in Bihar increased to 73, while the total number of cases reached 10,204 after 217 people tested positive, a health department official said on Wednesday.

Of the five deaths, two happened a few days ago but they were recorded on Wednesday, while three others succumbed on Tuesday, health secretary Lokesh Kumar Singh said in a statement.

These COVID-19 patients were suffering from other serious diseases too, he said.

The state now has 2,320 active cases while 7,811 patients recovered from the disease and 73 died.

The health secretary said the state’s recovery rate is at 77.52% which is significantly higher than the national recovery rate of 59.43%.

A total of 7,799 samples have been collected for testing in the past 24 hours.

Districts which have reported high incidence of positive cases include Patna (747), Bhagalpur (500), Madhubani (467), Siwan (419), Begusarai (452), Munger (365), Samastipur (362), Katihar (348), Rohtas (343), Muzaffarpur (313), Nawada (308) and Khagaria (304).

Cases have been reported from all the 38 districts of the state.

Meanwhile, a wedding ceremony in rural Patna a fortnight ago where the groom was running high fever and died two days later his wedding, with his body cremated without being tested for COVID-19, appears to have set off the biggest infection chain in Bihar so far, health department officials said on Tuesday.

More than 100 people have tested positive in Paliganj sub-division of Patna district, about 55 km from the state capital, in the last few days, out of over 350 who have been tested upon contact tracing, they said. Fifteen of his relatives who attended the wedding tested positive for the contagion and apparently infected others.

The officials, who requested anonymity, said the groom was a software engineer based in Gurugram and had returned home for his marriage in the last week of May. A few days after the ‘tilak’ ceremony, he started showing symptoms of the disease.

On June 15, the date of wedding, he was running high fever and wanted the ceremony to be deferred but relented upon the insistence of family members who made him swallow paracetamol tablets and go through the rituals.

On June 17, his condition deteriorated significantly, and family members made a dash to AIIMS, Patna, but he died on the way.

As a measure to contain the spread of the disease, a special camp was set up at the village where the marriage took place on June 24-26 during which samples of 364 people were collected. Of them, 86 tested positive, the officials added.