Coronavirus outbreak: Indonesian village uses "ghosts" to scare people into staying home

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A neighbourhood in Indonesia’s central Java province has deployed local “ghosts”– or “pocong” to patrol the streets and scare people into staying home in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Two volunteers wrapped in white cloth play the role of ‘”pocong”, or “shroud ghost”, which is the soul of the dead trapped in the burial shroud, according to Indonesian and Malaysian folklore. They hop around the streets of the Kepuh village neighbourhood in Sukoharjo which has a population of 5000, reminding people they should not be out and about.

Organizers have sent the pocong on “surprise patrols” once a week or every few days to catch people who are hanging out on the streets and spook them into staying home.

As of Sunday, Indonesia reported 4,241 cases of coronavirus with 373 dead. It has the highest official death toll in East Asia after China.

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