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Post COVID-19, doctor commits suicide

After recovering from COVID-19, Dr Ramswarup Choudhary was struggling with memory loss, sleeplessness and mental fatigue.
M I Khan reports.

Unable to cope with post-coronavirus complications, a government doctor in Bihar committed suicide. After recovering from COVID-19, he was struggling with memory loss, sleeplessness and mental fatigue.

This is the first such case reported in Bihar.

Dr Ramswarup Choudhary, who was in charge of the Gidhaur primary health centre in Jamui district, hung himself from the ceiling fan in his room, the police stated on Wednesday.

His suicide note revealed his sense of frustration and depression.

‘Corona hone ke baad yaaddast kaam nahi kar raha, neend bhi nahi aati, pagalpan jaisa mahsoos kar raha hoon, isiliye jaan de raha hoon (After I recovered from corona, my memory has been hampered, I am unable to sleep, I feel like I am going crazy, so I am committing suicide),’ he stated in his note.

According to his family members, Dr Choudhary had spoken to colleagues over the phone before he went inside his room to get ready for his duty at the primary health centre.

After waiting for half an hour, his driver contacted the family to find out where Dr Choudhary was. They rushed to his room, but the door was locked from inside. They knocked repeatedly and when there was no response, they broke open the door to the grisly sight of the doctor’s body.

Several rmedical experts from across the world have said that COVID-19 affects and damages the brain, a condition they term as brain fog.

Ironically, in Bihar, families of 40 doctors who succumbed to COVID-19 in the last year are yet to receive compensation.

Dr Sunil Kumar, secretary, Indian Medical Association, Bihar, underlined his frustration with the government’s apathy and failure to provide compensation to most of the doctors who were infected with, and succumbed to, the disease.

“Till date, only the family of Dr Rati Raman Jha, who was the civil surgeon of Samastipur district, has got compensation from both the central and state government,” Dr Kumar said.

Dr Jha passed away due to COVID on July 27 last year at AIIMS Patna.

“The families of the other doctors have hardly got anything. If this is the ground reality for doctors who died fighting COVID,” says Dr Kumar, “one can imagine the plight of common people who became COVID victims.”

He adds that the central government had announced a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the family members of the doctors who succumbed to COVID-19 during the course of their duty. The Bihar state government announced a Rs 4 lakh compensation.

The family of Dr Avinash Kumar, who was succumbed to COVID on June 28 last year, is yet to receive compensation. As is the family of Dr Ashwani Nandkuliyar, the second doctor who died on July 13.

According to the official Twitter handle of the health department, Bihar, COVID-19 has claimed 1560 lives in the state.

The first death from COVID 19 was reported in Bihar on March 22, 2020.

With COVID-19 cases slowly increasing in Bihar since last week, the government has warned people to take all precautions.

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