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In a shocking incident, a married couple ended their lives in Mangaluru district of Karnataka on Tuesday over fear of being infected by Covid-19 and Black Fungus. The deceased have been identified as Ramesh (40) and Guna R. Suvarna (35), residents of Baikampady in Mangaluru. They committed suicide by hanging, according to police.
Before committing suicide, Ramesh called up Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar and informed him about his decision to commit suicide. Immediately police were sent, but the couple was found dead in their apartment. They left a death note and Rs 1 lakh cash for their funeral. They were reportedly apprehensive of getting infected with Covid-19 as they developed few symptoms of the disease, police said.
"As we see people losing eyes and other organs of the body because of Black Fungus infection followed by Covid-19, I fear that same thing might happen to me also as I am getting symptoms and could sense changes in my body. My husband is also showing symptoms of Covid from the last 3 days, and in this situation we have come to a decision that we don't want to live any further. My father, mother and brother have got infected with Covid and they recovered. My mother suffered a lot and I don't want to give them any difficulty in carrying out our funeral," Guna R. Suvarna wrote in her death note reported by IANS.
She also requested to carry out their funerals according to Hindu traditions and to donate all their belongings to the poor.
As stated by the police, the couple who was married in 2000 was also suffering from depression since last year as they did not have children. In her death note, Guna also shared her experiences from the people who have no children
Reacting to the incident, Karnataka Health minister Dr K. Sudhakar urged people to get tested if they have Covid symptoms. "Free testing and treatment is made available to people. The doctors have learnt lessons in the past one-and-a-half years of experience to deal with the Covid. No one should panic and until the vaccination drive is completed, Covid guidelines must be followed," he was quoted as saying.
India saw an increasing cases of Black fungus or mucormycosis cases among Covid patients in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Uncontrolled diabetes and improper use of steroids have been suggested as the major factors behind the emergence of this health crisis.
Mucormycosis is a fungal disease caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces. It usually occurs in patients with a compromised immune status. As covid infection compromises the immune system, fungal infections easily afflict the patients. Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids, prolonged ICU stay, malignancy and voriconazole therapy are some factors that put Covid-19 patients at risk of developing the black fungus infection, stated the advisory released by the Union Health Ministry and ICMR.
If not treated in time, infected patients are at the risk of developing eye problems, palate and even death.
Warning signs and symptoms associated with black fungus include - pain and redness around eyes and nose, fever, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, bloody vomits and altered mental status.
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