Kepuh village in Indonesia has been haunted by ghosts lately – mysterious white figures leaping out at unsuspecting passersby, then gliding off below a full-moon sky.
The village on Java island has deployed a forged of “ghosts” to patrol the streets, hoping that age-old superstition will preserve folks indoors and safely away from the coronavirus.
“We needed to be totally different and create a deterrent impact as a result of ‘pocong’ are spooky and scary,” stated Anjar Pancaningtyas, head of a village youth group that coordinated with the police on the unconventional initiative to advertise social distancing because the coronavirus spreads.
Referred to as “pocong”, the ghostly figures are usually wrapped in white shrouds with powdered faces and kohl-rimmed eyes. In Indonesian folklore they symbolize the trapped souls of the lifeless.
However after they first began showing this month they’d the alternative impact. As an alternative of retaining folks in they purchased them out to catch a glimpse of the apparitions.
The organisers have since modified tack, launching shock pocong patrols, with village volunteers taking part in the a part of the ghosts.
President Joko Widodo has resisted a nationwide lockdown to curb the coronavirus, as a substitute urging folks to practise social distancing and good hygiene.
However with the very best charge of coronavirus deaths in Asia after China, some communities, resembling Kepuh village, have determined to take measures into their very own arms, imposing the ghostly patrols, lockdowns and limiting motion out and in of their village.
“Residents nonetheless lack consciousness about methods to curb the unfold of COVID-19 illness,” stated village head Priyadi, “They wish to dwell like regular so it is rather troublesome for them to observe the instruction to remain at residence.”
There are actually 4,241 confirmed circumstances of the coronavirus in Indonesia, and 373 deaths, with fears the numbers will rise considerably.
Researchers on the College of Indonesia estimate there could possibly be 140,000 deaths and 1.5 million circumstances by Might with out more durable curbs on motion.
When Reuters lately visited Kepuh village, the supernatural technique gave the impression to be working, with villagers working off in fright when the ghosts materialised.
“For the reason that pocong appeared, mother and father and youngsters haven’t left their houses,” stated resident Karno Supadmo, “And folks is not going to collect or keep on the streets after night prayers.”
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