At least 15 people contracted coronavirus after ignoring advice and opening the chest of a loved one who died of the virus to perform a cleansing ritual.
The mourners participated in the funeral procession in the village of Jati in Indonesia, after the victim’s death two weeks ago.
Nur Ahmad Syaifudin, the acting regent of Sidoarjo, said that the patient’s body was wrapped in plastic and placed in a wooden box before being handed over to loved ones.
He added, “The relatives and neighbors of the deceased opened the plastic packaging of the deceased body and even bathed the body.
“That’s so careless.”
According to local media, friends and family have rejected health authority protocols to stop the spread of the deadly bug that has claimed the lives of 1,221 people in Indonesia.
The incident prompted the region’s virus task force to conduct contact detection in the village where they discovered that at least 15 people had been infected with Covid-19.
Meanwhile, dozens of other people have been listed as supervised patients (PDP), according to local media.
According to Syaifudin, Sidoarjo’s satellite regency saw 45 new cases on May 16, the highest daily increase since the pandemic began.
He confirmed that the village has been partially closed to prevent further spread.
Syaifudin told local media, “We have strictly limited access to and from the village. We also ordered the mosque there not to have mass prayers.”
Islamic religious law requires that a body be buried as soon as possible, followed by a simple ritual of bathing the body before putting it in a shroud.
Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population with approximately 225 million Muslims making up 87 percent of the population.
Sidoarjo after Surabaya is reported to be the second most affected region in East Java with 285 cases and 31 fatalities.