Andhra man hangs self over fear of contracting coronavirus

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Tirupati, Feb 12 (IANS) Fearing he could be infected with coronavirus, a 50-year-old man in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district committed suicide, his family members said.
K. Balakrishna, who had flu-like symptoms, suspected that he was infected with the deadly virus. Fearing that he could spread the infection to his family and other people, he ended his life by hanging.
The incident took place Tuesday in Seshamnaidu Kandriga village near temple town of Srikalahasti.
According to his family members, he left the house in the early hours of the day and was later found hanging from a tree near his mother’s grave on the village outskirts.
Balakrishna, an agriculturist, used to watch videos about coronavirus on internet and was also behaving in a weird manner with the family members by warning them against coming close to him.
It was on February 1 that Balakrishna complained of cold and fever. Four days later, he went to a hospital in Tirupati, where was diagnosed with viral infection. The doctors advised him to wear mask. Two days later he returned home and as there was no relief from cold, cough and fever, he started suspecting that he had coronavirus.
The man had learnt about the deadly virus through media. He confined himself to a room and warned his wife and children not to come closer to him. Family members and others tried to convince him that he had no coronavirus but in vain. He started to throw stones and other articles at the family members to keep them away from him.
Balakrishna’s son Balamurali said he was watching videos about coronavirus on the mobile. In the early hours of Tuesday, he left the house and bolted the door from outside. When the family members woke up, they did not find him and started searching for him. He was later found hanging on the village outskirts.
Police said they have not registered any case as the family did not lodge any complaint.
No coronavirus case has been reported from Andhra Pradesh or Telangana.