Two Covid patients end life in 24 hours
Suicide by two Covid patients in the state in last 24 hours, one at Raxaul and other at AIIMS-Patna, has brought the spotlight on the impact of virus on the mental health of patients.
So far, five Covid patients have committed suicide, four of them at AIIMS-Patna, over the last one year.
On Thursday, a Covid patient jumped off the third floor of a hospital at Raxaul in West Champaran district. According to officials, the incident occurred at Dunkan hospital at Raxaul around 8 pm on Thursday.
The deceased was identified as Ram Sharan Sah (36).
“He had been insisting for discharge from the hospital for the past few days. He took the extreme step immediately after his family members, who had come to deliver meal for him, returned home,” said Chandeshwar Singh, administrator, Dunkan hospital, Raxaul.
The deceased had been under treatment at Dunkan hospital since May 20. “Autopsy on the body could not be done since he was a Covid patient,” said Sagar Jha, Raxaul’s subdivisional police officer.
On Wednesday, a 57-year-old man under treatment for Covid-19 at AIIMS-Patna jumped off the fifth floor bathroom of the hospital. He was admitted to the hospital on May 18.
This is fourth case of suicide by a patient at AIIMS-Patna since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
In October 2020, a 68-year-old Covid-19 patient had committed suicide at the hospital. Earlier, a 38-year-old locomotive driver of the Indian Railways, posted in Delhi, and hailing from Khagaul in Patna, died on June 22. A month later, a 21-year-old youth from Bihta jumped to death on July 25 from the ward on the third floor of the institute where he was undergoing treatment.
Psychiatrists attribute aloofness and hopelessness among patients as major reason behind taking extreme steps.
“The fear of death is quite common among the Covid patients. In some cases, the amount of time spent in an episode of depression, aloofness and hopelessness become so high that they could well be forced to end their life,” said Dr Subhash Soren, director of Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (RINPAS), Ranchi.
“Proper counselling by the experts is the most effective way to handle such patients,” said Dr Doren.
Advendra Prasad, a medicine shop owner who spent 25 days at a private hospital after being infected with Covid-19, recalled his ordeal. “All sorts of negative feelings affected me. This was compounded by the fact that as a patient I was on bed surrounded not only by Covid patients but among the bodies as they were not removed for hours. You are cut off from your family, near and dear ones and doctors are impolite at times,” said Prasad.