Scare Tactics: Indonesian Town Deploys ‘Ghosts’ (Pocong) to Battle Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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The volunteers of an Indonesian village known as Kepuh Village, Central Java are very creative. They are helping to encourage people to stay at home and curb the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

They are dressing up as ghosts (known as Pocong in Indonesia) and scaring those on the streets at night. The phantoms have been patrolling the streets since early April 2020 in an initiative organised by a local youth group.

Pocong according to local folklore is the soul of the dead trapped in burial shrouds. According Anjar Pancaningtyas, the youth group leader, they did this because they firstly wanted to be different. Secondly, to create deterrent effect, because Pocong is spooky and scary.

Anjar said that since they set up “Pocong roadblock” at night, the environment of the village has become more conducive to the idea of staying at home.



The Indonesian government has encouraged social distancing to combat the pandemic, but has not implemented a nationwide lockdown. Instead it implemented Pembatasan Sosial Skala Besar (Large Scale Social Limitations) in some provinces and regions greatly influenced by Coronavirus (COVID-19) such as capital city Jakarta and others: Kota Bekasi, Kota Tangerang, Kota Tangerang Selatan, Kota Surabaya Raya etcetera.

As of May 4th, the people positively infected by Coronavirus in Indonesia reaches 11,587, death 864 and recovery 1,954. On the other side, there are 3,508,566 people with positive Coronavirus, death 247,531 and recovery 1,128, 181 in the world.



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