Doctors had advised him to wear a mask to check spread of viral fever

A middle-aged man, who reportedly feared to have contracted the corona virus (nCoV), allegedly committed suicide near Srikalahasti town on Tuesday.

As news trickled in on the virus-related deaths from all over, an ailing K. Balakrishna (50), a resident of Seshamanaidu Kandriga in Thottambedu mandal in Chittoor district, was admitted to Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital in Tirupati last week for fever. The doctors diagnosed him of some viral infection and suggested him to wear a mask to prevent its spread to others, which made him suspect that he had contracted the dreaded virus.

On return to his village two days later, the “delusional” patient was allegedly “strongly convinced” that he had indeed contracted the virus and underwent extreme stress. More than the fever, it was the suspicion that he might have contracted the virus that reportedly gave him sleepless nights.

“He was also worried that the virus could spread in the family and also in the town because of him,” his son K. Balamurali told a section of the media. Apart from staying away from family members, he even started chasing his own kin away

Balakrishna left his home on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday and allegedly hanged himself to a tree near his mother’s grave.

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As he had bolted the house from outside, the family members realised his absence only after some time and were shocked to find his body hanging from the tree. The victim’s wife, Lakshmi Devi, blamed her husband’s excessive fear for the extreme step.

When contacted, Thottambedu Sub-Inspector K. Venkatasubbaiah said the family members had not filed any complaint over the issue.

Persons in distress and with suicidal tendencies can call 100 for help and counselling.

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