Population vs ambulance: Indonesians against COVID-19 victims protocol of transportation

Many COVID-19 ambulance crews have been attacked by populations in Indonesia lately. The reason? Take back the corpse of their loved ones died from coronavirus.

Despite the norms of safety issued by the Government of Indonesia in the transportation of COVID-19 victims, many people have attacked ambulances in order to take back the bodies of their loved ones. Paramedics and EMTs tries to keep the population calm seem to be useless. Many threatened to set the COVID-19 ambulance on fire if they could not take their relatives’ corpses back.

Indonesians against COVID-19 victims ambulance transportation: why do this happen?

According to the leader of the COVID-19 task force leader at Smart Pamekasan Regional Hospital, these people don’t want to let anyone know that a relative or a neighbour of them died because of COVID-19. That’s why they want to bury the body by themselves, without any safety protocol.
Many families in Indonesia refuse to accept that their relatives could have died from COVID-19 and many times happen that they jeopardize doctors and nurses if they report what they don’t want to hear.


COVID-19 victims ambulance transportation: the priority to socio-cultural values

The problem is that population gives priority to socio-cultural values, instead of their own safety. While the government moves formally, the community is feeding chaos. A sociologist at Sebelas Maret University (UNS), Drajat Tri Kartono explained that maybe the Government could be more flexible on burials procedures since communities are behaving so critically.

The restrictions of the Government of Indonesia are putting at risk the entire population and COVID-19 ambulance crews. These behaviours are risky and each country should respect each dead’s dignity. The WHO declared that “dignity of the dead, their cultural and religious traditions, and their families should be respected and protected throughout,” but family members should be given “clear instructions not to touch or kiss the body.




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