Indonesia uses ghosts to scare people into staying indoors over COVID-19

Bangkok, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Two Indonesians on the island of Java dress every week as “pocong,” a ghost of Malaysian and Indonesian folklore, to prevent people in their village from leaving home amid the pandemic of COVID-19.

The initiative began in early April, but the result was the opposite, as neighbors left their homes to curiously observe the two disguised in a white shroud as if they were corpses, according to an EFE-EPA photographer.

However, the photo of their staging went viral and the two men, workers in a factory in Purworejo, represent the “pocong” a few times a week to promote social distance.

According to legend, it is the soul of a deceased person who has not been able to untie his shroud and has been trapped in the ground, so he leaves his grave to be released.

With more than 1,500 confirmed cases and 449 deaths from the new coronavirus, Indonesia is one of the countries most affected in Southeast Asia by the pandemic and has approved measures such as distance education and the restriction of international flights, although it has not imposed a quarantine general.

Despite being among the most affected nation in the region, it was among the last to register cases among its population. Indonesia is home to the largest Muslim community in the world, many of whom take part in the Hajj, a yearly religious pilgrimage in Islam whereby devotees go to Mecca, Saudi Arabia and this year is under threat of cancelation due to the pandemic. EFE-EPA


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