A 58-year-old man allegedly committed suicide a few days after he received results showing that he had 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 man was found hanging from the roof in his bedroom with wire around his neck.
The man’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 in one of the metros.
“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 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 over 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.
The Limpopo health MEC’s spokesperson‚ Thilivhali Muavha‚ said the department has been making calls for people to stop stigmatising people over their health.
However‚ the brother said there was no sign or evidence that his brother was discriminated against because of the virus.
Muavha said any person who tests positive will be told 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 uniformed member‚ detectives and health officials attended the scene but they were informed about the deceased’s condition only afterwards. All police officers are now in self-quarantine at their places.”
By Peter Ramothwala
Source: ARENA Holdings.