Health ministry statistics show suicides in April fell nearly 20 percent from a year earlier, countering widespread concerns the coronavirus pandemic would drive many to take their lives.
But officials and experts warn there might be a resurgence. Despite April’s figure, they say, the fact remains that the fallout from COVID-19 is taking a toll on the livelihoods and mental health of many across the nation, depriving them of jobs and increasing the risk of domestic violence and child abuse.
The ministry’s monthly statistics show the number of suicides in April stood at 1,455 on a preliminary basis, down 19.8 percent from 1,814 the previous year, marking the biggest year-on-year drop in five years. Speculation soon ensued online that the ongoing school closures and increase in telecommuting may have spared many from distress linked to bullying and overwork.