COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Indonesia as several people disregards existing quarantine rules of the government. With this alarming situation, politician thought of something “haunted” to make citizens stay at home.
Kusdinar Untung Yuni Sukowati, regency head of Sragen, later on issued an order in late April confining quarantine violators to “haunted” buildings on the island of Java.
This order took effect after a surge of newcomers in the region from other parts of the country, including Jakarta.
However, most of them do not self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival.
The Sragen head directed communities to repurpose abandoned houses that were feared as haunted.
In Indonesian folklore, abandoned houses serve as abodes of bad spirits.
“If there’s an empty and haunted house in the village, put people in there and lock them up,” Ms. Sukowati reiterated during an interview.
Meanwhile, in Sepat village, officials used an abandoned house for a long time as an isolation facility. Further, they placed beds at a distance and separated them by curtains.
Heri Susanto, one of the first offenders to enter the haunted house, said he has not seen any ghosts yet.
“But whatever happens, happens,” said Susanto, who came from neighboring Sumatra island.
Further, Ms. Sukowati said people do not have to spend their two weeks inside abandoned buildings if they obeyed the rules that were placed for their own safety.