Man hangs himself after Covid-19 test comes back positive

The 58-year-old man allegedly killed himself a few days after he received results showing that he tested positive for Covid-19.
The 58-year-old man allegedly killed himself a few days after he received results showing that he tested positive for Covid-19.
Image: 123rf.com/betonstudio

A 58-year-old man has committed suicide as the strain of Covid-19 infections takes its toll.

The man allegedly killed himself a few days after he received results showing that he tested positive for Covid-19.

The man reportedly went to a local doctor after developing symptoms. He received his results on Sunday and had since been in self-isolation at his village in Bolobedu outside Tzaneen in Limpopo.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the deceased was found hanging from the roof in his bedroom with a wire around his neck.

The deceased's younger brother who can't be named to protect his family from possible stigmatisation said his brother came back home two weeks ago from Gauteng where he worked as a waste collector in one of the metro municipalities.

"He didn't show any signs of weakness and I didn't know that he had tested positive for Covid-19. He was always at home with his family," he said.

The deceased's wife and children refused to speak to Sowetan.

The brother said he received a call informing him that his elder brother had committed suicide.

"I rushed home and indeed I found him hanging from the roof with a wire around his neck. Then the wife explained to me that his results came [back] positive two days before he killed himself," he said.

He said his brother was buried in the early hours of the morning yesterday by at least 15 family members.

A village resident said he learnt with shock that his fellow villager killed himself due to coronavirus. "I heard the news from some of the community members who were going to dig the grave for the same man on Wednesday. I can't believe that man died, he was calm and humble."

Another resident said they were fearful because they didn't know the extent of the virus in the village.

"We don't know if all the people who made contact with him were traced and successfully identified," he said.

He said the death was a sign that the virus has arrived in the far-flung areas.

Limpopo MEC for health spokesperson Thilivhali Muavha said the department has been making calls that people must refrain from stigmatising people because of their health status.

However, the brother said there was no sign or evidence that his brother was discriminated against due to his health.

Muavha said any person who tests positive will be told of the outcome of the results.

"From there, the department tracer team will trace all the contacts and tell them to quarantine and if showing symptoms they will be tested."

Mojapelo said the police who attended the scene were in self-isolation. "One uniform member, detectives and health officials attended the scene but they were informed about the deceased's condition after. All police officers are now in self-quarantine at their places."

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