Udupi man feared he had coronavirus, kills himself; tells family to stay safe

Updated on Mar 25, 2020 10:28 PM IST

Covid-19: The 56-year-old man left behind a note that spoke about his fear that he may have contracted the coronavirus disease

Covid-19: The death in Karnataka’s Udupi is the second suicide suspected to be linked to coronavirus disease.
Covid-19: The death in Karnataka’s Udupi is the second suicide suspected to be linked to coronavirus disease.
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru | ByHT Correspondent

A 56-year-old man in Karnataka’s Udupi district who feared that he had contracted the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen that causes coronavirus committed suicide on Wednesday, police said.

The man, a trainer at the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, slipped out of the house in the early hours of Wednesday. He was found hanging by a tree in the backyard of his house in the district’s Brahmavar taluk a few hours later.

By the window that was close to the tree, the family found a note that he had left for them. He feared, according to this note, that he had contracted the disease and asked his family to be safe, a police officer said.

“His family says he had no symptoms of the virus and had not been to the doctor for any treatment, apart from lifestyle diseases,” a police officer from Brahmavar police station who spoke to HT on phone said.

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The officer, who did not want to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said the man apparently had been tracking news about the virus and the coronavirus disease. Quoting his family, the officer said, he was afraid that he would contract the disease too and had been mentally depressed about it.

His wife told the police that he had been particularly worried since Sunday.

On Tuesday night, he is said to have retired for the night at around 10.30 pm.

His wife woke up the next day when the alarm on his mobile phone started buzzing at 5.30 am. She assumed that he had gone for a walk. But when he failed to turn up a few hours later, the family started looking for him and spotted him hanging from the tree.

Police said they were holding an inquiry for suspected suicide and were awaiting the autopsy report.

“We urge everybody not to fall prey to social media forwards and if they have any symptoms, to go to the nearest government hospital,” the police officer said.

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