A 50-year-old man reportedly committed suicide to save his family after thinking he had been infected with coronavirus when he actually wasn’t.
According to Hindustan Times, Balakrishna from Andhra Pradesh, India was suffering from a cold and fever since 1st February.
He went to the hospital a few days later where the doctors diagnosed him with urinary tract infection.
They gave him medicines and also asked him to wear a mask so that his cold wouldn’t spread to others, after which he returned to the village after staying at his sister’s house in Tirupati for two days.
However, when his cold, cough and fever did not subside after taking medicines, Balakrishna starting thinking that he was infected by coronavirus.
“He thought he got affected from coronavirus, though we told him that the disease was prevalent only in China and affected those who went there,” his son said.
“Even the other villagers also told him that if he really had coronavirus, the doctors would have kept quarantined him.”
But Balakrishna continued to panic and became psychologically disturbed after reading reports about the dreaded virus in the newspapers. He also watched many videos about the coronavirus on his mobile phone, which probably instilled fear in him even more.
His son said that he started behaving strangely a few days before his death. He had isolated himself in his room and chased his family away by throwing stones at them, saying that he was infected with coronavirus.
“My father kept watching coronavirus-related videos the whole day on Monday (10th February), saying he had similar symptoms,” his son said.
Seeing his erratic behaviour, his son called the toll-free helpline number of the state government, but they told him there was nothing to worry as his father had not visited China recently, reported Indian Express.
“He had been unwell for a while but doctors did not mention coronavirus or anything. This created fear in his mind and started worrying for his family,” his son said.
On Monday night, Balakrishna went out of the house and locked the door from the outside. Upon realising his absence, his family members started searching for him, only to find Balakrishna’s body hanging from a tree near his mother’s grave on the outskirts of the village.
“My father was worried that the virus would spread to us. He hanged himself to save us,” his son said.
No coronavirus case has been reported in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
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