A 32 year-old woman has allegedly committed suicide in her bathroom and taken her two cats with her into the afterlife. The woman was found dead along with two cats in the bathroom of her apartment in Bangkok.
Police were alerted on Friday night to the suicide at a 24-storey condominium building in Bangkok. Police broke into the room, which is on the sixth floor, and found smoke coming out of the bathroom.
They found the body of the 32 year-old woman, (name withheld), lying on the floor next to her two dead cats. Near the bodies was an electric stove filled with burning charcoal and an electric fan. Both were left turned on.
Police also found that the ventilation grill on the bathroom door was sealed with a plastic bag. Forensic staff estimated that the deceased had been dead for at least six hours.
A friend of the deceased, who is the one who called the police after she could not contact the woman. Even more Thai media reports that the deceased was working as an employee in a private company and lived alone with her cats.
Police also reportedly found a book on depression on a bookshelf in the room. There were no signs of struggle or theft.
Police will review the CCTV footage to see if anyone had visited the room during the time of death. The deceased’s body was sent to Police General Hospital for detailed autopsy.
The Coronavirus Suicides
Scholars warn that the number of people driven to suicide by economic hardship could exceed the number of COVID-19 deaths if the government doesn’t react.
Thailand is well known for having one of the highest suicide rates in Southeast Asia. In fact, suicide ranks second among the non-natural causes of death in the country; after traffic accidents, and is more common than homicide, according to government.
A study by the World Health Organization based on 2016 data listed Thailand as having the 32nd highest annual suicide rate in the world; with 14.4 suicides for every 100,000 population; equivalent to 10,000 deaths by suicide per year.
Thailand had more suicides per capita than any other Southeast Asian country. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the accompanying economic devastation, has only worsened the situation.
A team of scholars pointed out that while the government holds daily press briefings on the COVID-19 situation. It also mobilizes resources to slow the spread of the virus. However “it fails to address” the issue of suicide. Deaths that could have been prevented with financial assistance to distressed people.
“Suicide cases indicate the government’s gross failure in handling the situation,” the scholars argued. If the kingdom does not consider the virus’s socioeconomic impacts, Thailand “may see more suicide cases.”