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.
47-year-old K. Sivanesan who worked with Chennai-based Sujatha Biotech, an Ayurvedic and herbal products company which was founded 30 years ago, died on the spot while his colleague, a managing director of the company who is an ophthamologist by qualification, was hospitalised after he fainted soon after he ingested the chemical component.
The two men reportedly ingested the chemical mixture of nitric oxide and sodium nitrate at a home in southern Chennai city.
Deputy Commissioner of Police,Ashok Kumar said;
“Our investigation revealed that Sivanesan died after drinking the preparation he claimed would help COVID-19 patients. His managing director fainted after tasting it initially. Further investigation is on.”
N.S.Vasan, designer-cum-media manager of the company said;
“Due to the lockdown, Sivanesan stayed in the city and one day told us he heard of some medicine from U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent speech for curing Coronavirus. He said it would bring more immunity and help to prevent COVID-19. Deciding to test the effect of the medicine, he went to Parry’s Corner and bought the powder. Sivanesan must have taken a heavy dosage of the ‘drug’ and he was killed instantly.
“All our products are ayurvedic. We used to test only herbal products. This was a chemical product that Sivanesan was testing though, and possibly for the first time ever.”
India currently has nearly 60,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. 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 277,946 worldwide.