Vijayawada: Four members of a family ended their life by consuming poisonous substance at Vaddegere in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. The deceased were identified as Prathap, 42, his wife Hemalatha, 36, his son Jayanth, 17, and his daughter Rishita, 14.

Neighbors informed the police which broke open the door and found all four members lying dead. Police also found a suicide note in the house. In the letter, the head of the family stated they were depressed after their relatives and friends died of COVID-19. He said this was the reason that they are taking the extreme step.

This is not an isolated case. Parts of Andhra Pradesh have reportedly witnessed a spate of suicides by Covid-19 patients and their relatives.

A few weeks ago, a 28-year-old Covid patient, who was undergoing treatment at King George Hospital in Vizag city, ended his life by jumping from the fourth floor of the building. Police said the victim was a native of Araku Valley of Vizag Agency and working as Rural Medical Practitioner (RMP).

He was tested positive for COVID and was admitted to KGH for treatment a few days ago. He was reportedly worried that he may die with the virus and took the extreme step in a fit of desperation.

More than 25 Covid-19 died by suicide in various parts of Andhra Pradesh during the second wave of Covid-19. The majority of the victims are from the Krishna district.

A Covid-19 patient, who was undergoing treatment at Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS), jumped from the third floor of the ICU Block. The deceased woman was working as a senior foreman with Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

Three Covid-19 patients ended their life in KGH and one patient at VIMS in Vizag city. The dreaded virus has not only affected various parts of the body but also taken a heavy toll on mental health.

As per the data from various sources, over 25 cases of suicides have been reported from across the state during the first wave of pandemic, all of which are directly or indirectly linked to the virus.

Noted psychiatrist NN Raju said the virus has been creating fears in the minds of people. "Some of the people who are infected with the virus, especially during the second wave, are facing tremendous mental pressure and losing hope. Due to anxiety and depression, they develop suicidal tendencies," he added.

Experts said viral messages are fueling depression among Covid-19 patients. Fear of financial viability and recovery are creating suicidal tendencies. Some people are ending their lives suspecting that they have been infected with the virus and would not survive.

Experts suggested that setting up of counseling centers at the Covid-19 hospitals and Tele-counseling can reduce the risk of suicidal tendencies among the patients and also it will create a positive atmosphere among them and will help for a speedy recovery.

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