This article contains graphic descriptions of suicide that may be distressing to readers. Readers’ discretion is advised.
The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a great toll on economies worldwide — and low-income groups are being hit hardest not only financially but also psychologically, as seen in the case of a Thai father who had committed suicide due to financial distress.
Supasit Chaokla, 42, was found hanging on Thursday (23 April) after the Thai government rejected his application for a relief payment of Bt5,000 (S$220), leaving him with no money to support his daughter.
Authorities estimated that Supasit, who resided in the Udon Thani province in northeastern Thailand, committed suicide two days earlier.
Jiamsri Chakla, 62, the deceased’s mother, told the news media that after getting divorced, Supasit had raised his 15-year-old daughter alone.
However, his income began to shrink last month after the emergency decree was announced.
The father owned a small eatery with daily operational costs of S$22-S$27.
However, as people stayed at home during the lockdown, his revenue fell to S$9-S$14.
He was stressed out as he had to pay as much as S$440 for her daughter’s school once the term restarted.
He was hoping that the relief payment from the government would help him to pay the cost.
He then became suicidal when his application was rejected.
Earlier, a Thai mother-of-two had committed suicide after losing her job during the pandemic.
Irada Lordpet, a resident of Maha Sarakham province in central northeastern Thailand, was found hanging in her bathroom by her brother on Monday (20 April).
He had rushed her to the hospital. Unfortunately, she was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.
According to Somjit Siwai, headwoman of the Pao village where Irada lived, the deceased’s family was poverty-stricken, The Nation Thailand reported.
In addition to that, Irada had just divorced and had recently lost her job selling drinking yoghurt.
Irada had reportedly undergone extreme distress as a result of losing her income. She was not able to pay her bills and could not even purchase milk for her baby.
The deceased had reportedly made a request to Somjit to extend her a loan. The headwoman said she would call the bank.
However, Irada’s mother soon contacted Somjit to inform the headwoman that her daughter was dead.
43-year-old Indonesian woman dies of extreme hunger and psychological pressure due to poverty
Separately on Monday, a 43-year-old woman in Indonesia had passed away as a result of extreme hunger and psychological pressure after reportedly not eating for two days.
Yuli Nur Amelia and her husband had lost their source of income due to the pandemic.
A day before she passed away, Kompas TV broadcasted an interview with her in which she shared her family’s struggles.
The late Yuli shared that she and her husband were both low-wage workers. She worked as an outsourced employee who was placed on unpaid leave after the coronavirus outbreak.
Her husband worked as a scavenger collecting plastic waste. However, he is no longer able to do it, as many buyers have closed their business during the pandemic.
As a result, the family could only afford to drink water and eat unripe cassava from their garden.
“We cannot do anything but feel sad,” she said.
The late Yuli, who lived in the city of Serang in West Java, also stated that her family had not received any aid from the government.
“Not yet, [but] I have applied [for it],” she said.
Head of Serang City Communication and Information Office Hari Pamungkas said that the family had been recorded as one of the beneficiaries of aid in the COVID-19 task force, but the administration had limited capability to distribute the aid.
“Our resources are limited. We need [the help from] everyone. We cannot work by ourselves. We need all society to work together and support each other. Let’s not blame each other. We all are facing this pandemic together,” said Hari.