TikTokers caught breaching COVID-19 restrictions in East Java
Indonesia has implemented restrictions on the movement of people, or pemberlakuan pembatasan kegiatan masyarakat (PPKM) since 22nd January 2021 to curb the spread of COVID-19 – and for a good reason. The number of confirmed cases in the country continues to rise, and as of the time of writing, the figure has just crossed a million and stands at 1,012,350.
Understandably enough, outrage was everywhere when footage of a gathering hosted by a group of TikTokers in Madiun, East Java went viral on social media.
It’s never a good idea to host a gathering during a global pandemic
Image credit: @NAffogato23
The TikToker gathering took place on Sunday, 24th January 2021 and was first brought to attention by Twitter user @NAffogato23. They tweeted a video from the gathering, clearly showing a crowded restaurant with dozens of people in close proximity to each other.
Video credit: @magetanbanget
On that day, TikToker group ViensBoys, originally from Solo in Central Java, visited iClub Restaurant in Madiun for what initially appeared to be a food review with only a handful of people involved.
However, it soon became apparent that they had a much larger event planned as an army of fans quickly stormed the restaurant, turning the visit into a full-scale meet-and-greet.
Image credit: @NAffogato23
The Twitter user pointed out that the restaurant was fully packed, and no social distancing was maintained during the TikToker gathering.
Elsewhere in the thread, they shared an infographic which showed that as of 22nd January, Madiun had 1,532 confirmed cases of COVID-19. They also urged authorities to act fast as the incident had caused great discomfort and disturbance to the city’s residents.
What netizens have to say about the TikToker gathering
Image credit: @dinindaaaaa
One responder to the thread, who is originally from Madiun but now lives elsewhere, called out the recklessness of the TikTokers, while adding that she has not visited her family in the city for a long time due to the severity of the pandemic.
Image credit: @txtdarimadiun
Another Twitter user pointed out that the restaurant where the TikToker gathering shenanigans occurred is located near a hospital where COVID-19 patients are referred to, with a full isolation ward.
The police have gotten involved
In response to the backlash to the gathering, on Monday, 25th January 2021, the Madiun City Police announced that it had launched a formal investigation into the TikToker gathering incident.
On Tuesday, 26th January 2021, it was announced that the police were interrogating Viens Boys and several other witnesses.
The police have also forcibly closed iClub Restaurant for breaching COVID-19 protocols.
This is how serious the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia is
Indonesia has one of the world’s highest COVID-19 tallies, with the number of confirmed cases having just surpassed the 1 million mark today.
Image credit: COVID-19 Task Force
In particular, East Java is one of the country’s so-called COVID-19 red zones, with a total of 107,050 confirmed cases as of Monday.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced that restrictions on the movement of people will be extended for another two weeks until 8th February 2021 in seven provinces, including Jakarta, East Java, and Bali.
Remember that we’re all in this together
It’s frustrating that there is no sign of the pandemic blowing over anytime soon, and even more so when it means that there will be a while until we can go out and gather freely again.
But we rely on each other to do the right thing and keep everyone safe during this pandemic, and only when we realize how important it is to adhere to health protocols will the situation finally improve.
In the meantime, staying home is the only option, but there’s always a bunch of things to do to keep ourselves entertained and occupied.
Also check out:
- Artist’s Ghibli-style Indonesian food art goes viral
- US influencer Kristen Gray deported from Bali
- Delman horse collapses on West Java street due to exhaustion
Cover image adapted from: @magetanbanget and the Madiun City Office of Communications and Informatics