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Man who feared he had coronavirus kills himself to stop spread of illness

An Indian man has killed himself after he believed he was infected with the coronavirus. The man from the Andhra Pradesh Chittoor district in Hyderabad, India hung himself because he didn’t want to infect others, reports NDTV. But the 50-year-old man named Balakrishnayya did not in fact have the coronavirus but a regular cold. The coronavirus has infected thousands in numerous countries but there is no case of the illness in Andhra Pradesh.

Balakrishnayya thought he had the coronavirus after visiting Tirupati’s Ruia Hospital. He went for a checkup on his heart but a doctor advised him to wear a face mask because he was exhibiting cold symptoms. However, due to miscommunication, Balakrishnayya thought he was infected with the coronavirus.

“He had gone to hospital for checkup regarding heart ailment,” Balakrishnayya’s son Balamurali told NDTV. “The doctor told him to use a mask … he misunderstood and thought he was infected with coronavirus.”

This caused Balakrishnayya to keep his family at a distance. He looked up symptoms of the coronavirus online and found his symptoms matched. His son tried to convince him otherwise but it was of no use. He was more convinced than ever so he killed himself by hanging himself on a tree to protect his family from getting infected.

“He wouldn’t let any of us come near him. I told him you don’t have infection but he wouldn’t listen,” the son said. “Maybe, if he got proper counseling, he would have listened.

“He saw lots of videos (on internet) about symptoms and concluded that he had all those symptoms.

“He locked us up in the house on Monday and before we could get help to stop him, he hanged himself on a tree.”

The coronavirus started in Wuhan, China and has spread to multiple countries. It has infected tens of thousands, mostly in China, and has killed more than a thousand people.

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