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Andhra man commits suicide, fearing he contracted coronavirus

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On Tuseday morning, a 50-year-old man from Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh committed suicide after he suspected that he had contracted coronavirus that has killed more than 1,000 people in China, the epicentre of the outbreak. The man has been identified as K Balakrishna, and was found hanging from a tree.

Balakrishna’s family members said he had fever for the last few days and assumed that he had contracted coronavirus. He took this extreme step to prevent his family members from contracting the virus. Health department officials confirmed the incident and said he had been a diabetic for two-three years and had developed a coronavirus phobia.

Balakrishna, who is from Seshamnaidu Kandriga village in Chittoor, had visited the Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital (SVRRGGH) in Tirupati last week and doctors there stated that he was suffering from a viral infection and had given medication.

The deceased’s son, Balamurali, said that his father told family members that he had contracted coronavirus and warned them against coming near him. He had attacked them and also locked himself in his room. He also said that his father kept watching coronavirus-related videos the whole day on Monday, and said that he had similar symptoms. Due to his erratic behaviour, Balamurali dialed the toll-free helpline number of the state government and they told them there was nothing to worry as he has not visited China recently.

On Monday night, Balakrishna left the house and locked the door from outside. Realizing this, his family members alerted their neighbours and started a search only to find Balakrishna’s body hanging from a tree on the outskirts of their village.

Chittoor district medical and health officer (DMHO) Dr M Penchalaiah said that Balakrishna got himself checked for urinary tract infection. His blood and urine tests reports were normal but the doctor gave him medication for burning micturition.

The DMHO repeated that no cases of novel coronavirus had been reported in Andhra Pradesh till now. He said that a 20-bedded observation ward was also being developed in SVRRGG hospital.

Source: The Indian Express

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