Quarantine in Sragen Regency, Central Java

The landscape that the COVID-19 pandemic has painted for the world feels like something straight out of a dystopian movie. Images of deserted streets and public places evoke a sense of eeriness that will surely make great material for a modern horror story. 

More and more regions in Indonesia are taking self-quarantine more seriously as the number of confirmed cases in the country, as well as globally, continues to rise. Sragen Regency in Central Java is no exception. It is prepared to take extreme measures – even going as far as possibly locking people in haunted houses – if its citizens do not heed stay-at-home orders.

Short on proper quarantine facilities

Quarantine house in Sepat Village, Masaran, SragenQuarantine house in Sepat Village, Masaran, Sragen
Image credit: jateng.inews.id

One of the biggest challenges that regional authorities are currently facing is the lack of proper quarantine facilities for residents returning to their homes, particularly from more densely populated areas, who are required to self-isolate. This is certainly the case with Sragen, thus forcing villages to take a crucial role in curbing the spread of the virus.

Residents who have either come back from another city or are currently under medical observation are strongly required to self-quarantine. Vice-regent of Sragen, Dedy Edriyatno, told tribunjateng.com that these residents have been asked to report their status to their villages so that local authorities can begin building a database. They must also sign a written agreement stating that they will self-isolate for 14 days.

Sragen regent is not taking quarantine lightly

Sragen Regent - Kusdinar Untung Yuni Sukowati
Sragen Regent, Kusdinar Untung Yuni Sukowati
Image credit: regional.kompas.com

Keeping track of all the people coming back to Sragen, in addition to local patients who haven’t tested positive for COVID-19 but are currently under observation, is no easy task. This is why Sragen Regent, Kusdinar Untung Yuni Sukowati, gave permission to the heads of villages to quarantine its residents in an empty house if they refuse to stay at home.

She said that those who don’t take the self-quarantine order seriously will be quarantined in empty houses or elementary school buildings, where they will be closely monitored and given regular meals.

In case residents still choose to ignore this order, she said she would even go as far to order local authorities to lock offenders in a “haunted house” for 14 days. In a country where superstitions are still quite common in both rural and urban areas, such a measure could have positive results.

Take care of each other

The thought of being quarantined in an abandoned house, haunted or not, is enough to give anyone goosebumps. But it should be highlighted that the main focus of implementing such measures is to ensure the safety of the community. 

Yuni, as the Sragen Regent is typically called, emphasizes the importance of the residents’ commitment to self-quarantine in the regency’s collective effort to flatten the curve. She adds that if residents have urgent matters to attend to outside of their homes, they should wear a mask at all times.

Read more articles:

Cover image adapted from: regional.kompas.com and jateng.inews.id

Enjoying The Smart Local Indonesia? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more stories like this.