A 50-year-old man belonging from Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district committed suicide on Tuesday on mere suspicion that he had contracted the novel Coronavirus.
Doctors in Tirupati, who treated the man confirmed that he had suffered from a mere viral fever and he did not have any symptoms of Coronavirus. His relatives told the media that he killed himself to avoid “infecting” his wife and children.
K Bala Krishna was a native of Seshamnaidu Kandriga village in Thottambedu Mandal of Chittoor district, had watched on his mobile phone videos related to the Coronavirus and started believing that he had been infected.
Amidst the suspicion of getting the viral disease, Krishna locked his family in his house, went to his mother’s grave. Krishna’s wife Lakshmi Devi called up the neighbours who rushed there and opened the door, but Krishna till then had hanged himself from a tree near the grave by the time they reached him.
Krishna’s son Bala Murali, who works as a village volunteer, said his father had been ill for the past few days and visited the SVRR government general hospital in Tirumala on February 5.
After spending some time in Tirupati, Krishna returned to his village on Sunday, told his family members that he had contracted the Coronavirus and warned them not to come close to him.
“My father watched Coronavirus-related videos the whole day on Monday and kept saying he had similar symptoms. He attacked us when we tried to tell him that he did not suffer from the deadly disease,” Murali said.
Murali seeing his father’s mentally disturbed state dialled 100 and a toll-free helpline of the state government seeking a counselling session for him.
“But they told me there was nothing to worry if my father had not visited China recently and that I should calm him down. If someone had responded in time, my father would have been alive,” Murali said.