A 45-year-old Indonesian man from North Sumatra’s Toba regency put his fellow villagers at risk of contracting Covid-19 after escaping quarantine and faced the wrath of residents who tried to stop him from flouting safety protocols.
T, Salamat Sianipar's wife, Risma, revealed that it wasn’t the first time he breached isolation rules and that he deliberately left quarantine to come home last Thursday. He tried to convince others he was Covid-negative by spitting on his hands and attempted to touch family members and random strangers on the street. His actions made the villagers angry and they tried to secure him with long wooden and bamboo sticks out of fear of contracting Covid-19. However, their efforts failed and he managed to escape into the forest.
When Salamat returned the next day, residents managed to detain him using the same tactic and he was taken back to the Porsea Regional General Hospital. However, he escaped again from the hospital at night and returned to the village. The villagers managed to secure him yet again on Saturday and returned him to the hospital.
Indonesian news outlet Tribun Jateng published a video of the incident where a group of villagers can be seen chasing down Salamat with sticks. Although initial reports claimed that Salamat was violently beaten by the angry mob, local officials later clarified that the villagers were in fact trying to hold down the Covid-positive man to avoid being infected. Toba Regent Poltak Sitorus said however that there was not any violent intent on the part of the villagers and that they actually cared for Salamat.
Video link: https://twitter.com/dfrnm/status/1418796201995120650