Covid-infected policeman hangs himself

Covid-infected policeman hangs himself

Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Yingyos Thepchamnong, centre, holds a press conference at Royal Thai Police Office in Bangkok on Wednesday after an officer committed suicide. (Screenshot from fm91bkk.com)
Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Yingyos Thepchamnong, centre, holds a press conference at Royal Thai Police Office in Bangkok on Wednesday after an officer committed suicide. (Screenshot from fm91bkk.com)

A railway police deputy inspector hanged himself at Police General Hospital on Tuesday due to stress after contracting Covid-19, according to the Royal Thai Police Office.

Pol Maj Gen Yingyos Thepchamnong, spokesman for the office, said on Wednesday that Pol Capt Boonchu Panklin, 59, was found dead in a toilet on the 11th floor of Chalerm Phrakiat building after suffering mental health issues from his chronic illness and Covid-19 infection.

Pol Lt Gen Pornchai Sutheerakhun of Police General Hospital said the policeman had been in contact with a previously infected case and tested positive at Mongkutwattana General Hospital before being referred to Police General Hospital.

The officer was initially asymptomatic and thus was treated at a field hospital on Sunday.

On Monday he developed breathing difficulty and was moved to Chalerm Phrakiat Building. He was also diagnosed with diabetes and low blood oxygen.

Pol Lt Gen Pornchai said the hospital had been unaware of the officer's psychological problems because he had been admitted for only a few days.

Pol Col Pansa Amarapitak, chief of Pathumwan station, said the late officer also suffered from hypertension and had felt guilty for placing his mother, wife and child at risk of contracting Covid-19. The family members were in quarantine while awaiting their Covid-19 test results.

The late officer had been too embarrassed to talk with his family but had confided in a close relative, Pol Col Pansa said. He had asked his friend at Police General Hospital to take care of his family.

On Tuesday at 3pm, the officer entered a hospital toilet. When he failed to answer repeated calls to his phone an hour later, his roommate asked hospital staff to look for him. They found him dead in the toilet, hanging from a hook with a belt tied around his neck. 

Since March, 498 policemen have been diagnosed with Covid-19, with 412 still at hospitals.

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