Journalist Being Treated For COVID-19 commits suicide at AIIMS


New Delhi: A 37-year-old journalist undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the AIIMS Trauma Centre in Delhi died after allegedly jumping off the fourth floor of the hospital building on Monday afternoon, officials said.

The journalist worked for a Hindi daily and lived with his wife and two children in northeast Delhi’s Bhajanpura, they said.

The incident took place around 2 pm. The journalist jumped from the fourth floor of the Trauma Centre and was shifted to ICU, Devender Arya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southwest) said.

The police said they have initiated inquest proceedings.

Doctors at the Trauma Centre, which has been converted to a dedicated COVID-19 facility, tried to revive him but he succumbed to the injuries, the hospital authorities said.

Following the incident, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan asked the AIIMS director to set a panel to probe the matter.

“I ordered AIIMS Director to immediately constitute an official inquiry into this incident, following which a high-level committee has been set up & shall submit its report within 48 hours.”

The inquiry committee consists of Chief of Neuroscience Centre, Prof Padma, Head of Psychiatry Dept, Prof RK Chaddha, Dy Dir (Admn) Sh Panda & Head, Physical Medicine & Rehab Dr U Singh. My deep condolences to media community that is shaken by the tragic loss of an esteemed colleague,” Vardhan tweeted.

A statement issued by AIIMS said he was admitted to AIIMS Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre on June 24 with COVID-19.

He was making significant recovery from COVID symptoms. He was stable on room air on Monday and was planned for shifting to a general ward from the ICU, it said.

He earlier had surgery for frontal lobe meningioma (a type of brain tumour) at the G B Pant hospital New Delhi in March 2020.

“While he was at the Trauma Centre for treatment of COVID-19 he was having bouts of disorientation for which he was seen by a neurologist and psychiatrist and put on medication.

“The family members were regularly counselled regarding his condition. At around 1.55 pm today, he ran out of TC-1 where he was admitted. Hospital attendants ran after him and tried to stop him. He ran to the fourth floor where he broke a windowpane and jumped out,” the hospital said in the statement.

The reporter was immediately moved to the ICU in Trauma Centre in an ambulance. He was intubated and resuscitation was tried but unfortunately, he succumbed to injuries at 3.35 pm, it added.

A family member, who did not wish to be named, said, “He was a very strong person, mentally, and I cannot believe he could take such an extreme step.”

He is survived by his father, mother, elder brother, wife, and two little daughters, aged two-and-a-half years and three months.

“His mother is also a coronavirus patient and she is admitted at RML Hospital. We are all in a state of shock,” the family member said. 

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