Hyderabad: Fear of COVID-19 drove a sexagenarian couple living in Hyderabad’s Khairatabad to end their lives on 1 August. The duo has been identified as Adama Venkateshwar Naidu (65) and his wife Y.Venkatalaxmi (60).

The couple was residents of Rajanagar at MS Maqtha located opposite to the Raj Bhavan. Naidu was a retired driver of the Telangana State Forest Development Corporation and his wife was a homemaker.

The duo was suffering from age-related ailments and was getting treatments for the same. However, the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city had caused panic and instilled fear in them. On Saturday, they drank a soft drink laced with poison and ended their lives.

The neighbors alerted the Punjagutta police who rushed to the spot and took the bodies for postmortem. The couple’s family has been informed. A case has been registered  under suspicious death and further investigation is underway.

This is not a stand alone incident reported in Hyderabad, earlier a middle age man died by suicide over fear of contracting the virus. ‘Most people are worried about the finances involved once they contract the virus. Even if they are asymptomatic and placed under home isolation, it requires doctor’s intervention and monitoring. This again lead to finances. Also the stigma around COVID needs to be blamed. Besides medical support, suspects and patients need counselling’ said Ms Divya Sree, Psychologist.

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