Indian pharmacist dies from drinking mix he made as Covid-19 treatment

Indian pharmacist dies and his boss is sent to hospital after drinking chemical mix they concocted in bid to come up with coronavirus treatment

  • The men worked for a herbal medicine company at a home in southern Chennai
  • K Sivanesan, 47, died on the spot and his colleague Rajkumar is recovering
  • There are currently no approved medicines or vaccines for treating coronavirus
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

An Indian pharmacist died and his boss was left hospitalised after the pair drank a chemical concoction they had developed in an effort to treat coronavirus, police said on Saturday.

The men worked for a herbal medicine company and were testing their treatment – a mix of nitric oxide and sodium nitrate – at a home in southern Chennai city.

K Sivanesan, 47, died on the spot, said local police chief Ashok Kumar.

A swab sample is collected for a coronavirus test from an Indian citizen evacuated from Dubai by an Air India flight on May 9

His colleague Rajkumar is recovering from the poisoning.

Kumar said Sivanesan bought the chemicals from a market and developed the formula after conducting internet research.

There are no approved medicines or vaccines for treating COVID-19, triggering a global race for a new drug for the disease that has killed nearly 300,000 people.

India have seen record spikes in coronavirus cases this week, with John Hopkins reporting cases stand at 61,356 and the number of deaths at 2,041.

The first wave of a massive exercise to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Indians stuck abroad began May 7, with two flights landing in India from the United Arab Emirates

A health worker in a protective suit collects a swab from a suspected coronavirus patient at a hospital in Chennai, the capital city of India’s southern state Tamil Nadu, on April 13

The country of 1.3 billion imposed a drastic nationwide lockdown in an effort to halt the spread of the disease. 

The lockdown, which was announced by prime minister Narendra Modi at the end of March, is set to run until May 17.

All domestic and international travel is banned, factories and offices are shut along with schools, and migrant workers have been moved to quarantine centres. 

The country’s land borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal have all been closed. 

The border with Pakistan is being heavily controlled. 

A health worker helps to disinfect the gloves of his colleague at a hospital in Chennai on April 13. The country imposed a lockdown until May 17 in an effort to halt the spread of the disease

Only six per cent of people in India are aged over 65, compared to 18 per cent in Britain and 16 per cent in the United States, which may be an advantage against a virus which is most dangerous to the elderly. 

India’s median age of 28 is well below that in the US (38), Britain (41), Spain (43) or Italy (45). 

However, experts fear there could be a large tally of ‘missing’ deaths among people who died at home.

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