A Singapore court on Friday declared the death of a 46-year-old construction worker from India a suicide, nearly five months after he was found dead in a hospital here where he was undergoing treatment for COVID-19. Ruling the death as suicide, State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam on Friday cited the hospital’s review which found his death was neither “predictable (nor) preventable”, The Straits Times reported.

Alagu Periyakarrupan, who hailed from Tamil Nadu, was admitted at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) for COVID-19 on April 19. Five days later, he was found motionless without a pulse at an outdoor staircase landing on the third floor of the hospital. Noting that Alagu’s attending consultant was Tamil speaking and able to hold a conversation with him, the state coroner said: “While he (Alagu) did express concern about his financial position and kids in India, he did not voice any suicidal thoughts.” She found no lapses in clinical care for Alagu, adding that his death was “the deliberate act of suicide.” The court heard that the Indian national made a call to his nephew while he was in the hospital, telling him that he would have to take care of his family as well as his own.

When the nephew tried to probe further, Alagu assured him that everything was all right and that he would recover soon. On Thursday, the court heard that Alagu had no complications and was on track to be transferred to a community facility.

But, at about 5.30 am on April 23, he made two video recordings on his phone from the toilet of his ward, saying that he wanted to end his life because he had COVID-19. The videos were played in court. He is believed to have then used a metal hook to prise open one of the window panes by his bed, and leapt from the window.

An autopsy report found that he died from injuries caused by “a fall from height”. He had multiple injuries, including a ruptured heart, bleeding into the chest cavity, fractured ribs and pelvis, and bleeding over the surface of his brain.

Source : News 18


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