After the groom tested positive for Covid, a couple in Madhya Pradesh married in PPE suits on Monday. At the wedding ceremony in Ratlam, a recording shows the bride, groom, and three others wearing absolute security suits. As the couple walks around the fire, chants for pheras can be heard in the background.

“The groom tested positive on April 19. We came here to stop the wedding but on the request and guidance of senior officials, the wedding was solemnized. The couple was made to wear PPE kits so that the infection doesn’t spread,” says Navin Garg, a district official.

To slow the spread of Covid, social and religious gatherings have been limited in Madhya Pradesh and many other Indian states. The state has set a cap of 50 guests for weddings.

A top police official in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh, came up with a novel idea on Monday to encourage people to follow Covid wedding guidelines. Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Singh told news agency Press Trust of India that the bride and groom at weddings with 10 or fewer guests would be treated to a banquet.

“If the bride and groom marry in my presence with 10 or fewer guests, I will treat them to a wonderful dinner at my house,” the senior officer said. The couples will also get souvenirs, and a government car will pick them up and drop them off at their residence.

The Central Government has issued guidelines for states on imposing lockdowns and containment areas in an effort to flatten the curve and prevent spiraling Covid events.

Madhya Pradesh on Monday reported 12,686 COVID-19 cases, taking its tally to over five lakh, while the toll rose by 88 and the recovery count by 11,612 in the last 24 hours, an official said.

The state’s caseload stands at 5,11,990, including 5,221 deaths, while 4,14,235 people have been discharged so far, leaving it with 92,534 active cases, he said.

The official pointed out that in April, the state has added 2,16,479 cases and seen 1,235 deaths.