International COVID 19 No suicidal tendencies noted in covid-positive migrant worker: Coroner

No suicidal tendencies noted in covid-positive migrant worker: Coroner




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Singapore—Covid-stricken migrant worker Mr Alagu Periyakarrupan, 46, from India did not have suicidal tendencies, says the coroner.

He was found dead on April 23, 2020, on the third floor of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH).

State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam ruled Mr Alagu’s death was as a suicide on Friday, September 25.

According to the investigating officer on the case, no foul play is suspected in his death.

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The migrant worker was admitted to KTPH on April 19 with a headache and fever, with tests  later showing he was positive for Covid-19.

In the early morning hours of April 23, he made two videos and recorded them on his cell phone.

In one of the videos, he explained what he was about to do. Mr Alagu took away a glass pane from a window, crawled through it, and jumped to his death from the seventh floor of the hospital, The New Paper (TNP) reports.

The cause of death was declared as injuries sustained in his fall.

Migrant workers’ group ItsRainingRaincoats, which helped to communicate with Mr Alagu’s family during this difficult time, told them of the results of the coroner’s inquiry.

According to the State Coroner, the suicide of Mr Alagu, who had worked in Singapore for eleven years, was predictable nor preventable.

The worker showed no suicidal tendencies, and his Covid-19 infection had been explained to him.

He said in one of the videos, “The doctors are saying that I have coronavirus. Therefore I do not wish to stay alive. I am ready to lose my life. Nobody or nothing has anything to do with this. I have recorded this with a sober mind.”

The investigating officer said that there had been no evidence of pneumonia when an autopsy was performed on Mr Alagu.

TNP, quoting a KTPH committee had been formed to investigate his demise, that Mr Alagu, who is the father of three daughters aged 16, 11, and 6, had been concerned about them as well as the financial future of the family.

But these concerns are common among migrant worker patients, the committee said.

The nephew of Mr Alagu, who also works in Singapore and lives in the same dormitory, said that his uncle called him two days before his death.

He was asking the nephew to make sure that his daughters would get a good education and to take care of Mr Alagu family.

But when the nephew asked what was wrong, his uncle said he would get better soon and that everything was all right.

TNP quotes Carol Balhetchet, a clinical psychologist, as saying that Mr Alagu’s family must help his children cope with his death.

“The ones most impacted by suicide are the ones left behind, and it might be quite a while before this family can be emotionally stable,” she added.

Mr Alagu’s wife, Madam A. Panjali, said that while their youngest daughter hits too young to fully comprehend her father’s death,  the two older daughters have been inconsolable.

She told TNP through an interpreter, “We don’t understand why he would do this. He was a very caring husband and father.” —/TISG

Read also: Almost S$130,000 raised for families of 3 foreign workers

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