04/15/2020, 13.31
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Central Java village refuses to bury a nurse who died from the coronavirus

by Mathias Hariyadi

Such cases are occurring in other parts of the country. Millions of people express their outrage online at such incidents. So far, 22 doctors and 10 nurses have died in the fight against the COVID-19 virus, from lack of necessary protections and overwork. The social situation is deteriorating.

Sewakul (AsiaNews) – Residents in Sewakul, a village in central Java, prevented the burial of a nurse who died from the coronavirus. The woman, who hailed from the village, contracted the virus working at a hospital in the city of Semarang.

This incident is not unique. In various parts of Indonesia, people are trying to stop the burial of COVID-19 victims in local cemeteries.

Many have reacted negatively to similar incidents in places like Gowa (southern Sulawesi), Bandung (West Java) and Semarang Regency.

Local authorities as well as millions of people on social media have expressed their outrage at such a lack of compassion for the people who sacrificed their lives to help others.

The Sewakul nurse was later buried near the hospital where she worked. The village chief said he was pressured into preventing the burial.

The police are investigating the case, looking for three people who allegedly pushed ten more people to block access to the cemetery.

The Indonesian Nurse Association (PPNI[*]) has asked the government to better protect medical workers in hospitals, who face shortages in protective gear and are forced to work long shifts.

As of this Monday, 22 doctors and 10 nurses have died in the country. Overall, more than 5,000 cases have been reported with 469 deaths, the highest death rate in Asia after China. About 430 people have recovered.

As a result of the pandemic, the social situation is deteriorating. In Jakarta, police are warning that mass looting and vandalism might occur next Saturday, promoted on social media by a self-styled Anarko Gang.

The quarantine imposed by the authorities has left many Indonesians without food, especially low-wage workers.

[*] Persatuan Persatuan Perawat Indonesia

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