A 40-year-old man who tested positive for the coronavirus reportedly went out of line as he refused to be hauled to a hospital in Tasikmalaya, West Java, and went as far as purposely hugging his neighbor in an apparent attempt to spread the infection.
The man, identified by his initials AR, was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at a local hospital for about three weeks prior to this incident. According to reports, AR’s first swab test after the treatment came out negative, and doctors allowed him to return home while he waited for the result of his second swab test, which turned out to be positive.
A team of medical workers in personal protective equipment (PPE) went to his home in Tawang district to pick him up on Friday, but AR reportedly refused to follow suit and became more enraged when his neighbors recorded the incident using their phones. He reacted by chasing them and then hugging one of them.
“What is this? Where is it? I’m hugging you all,” AR said.
The medical workers eventually managed to calm AR after about two hours, and the patient agreed to be taken to the hospital and placed in quarantine.
Uus Supangat, who heads the Tasikmalaya Health Agency and was also at the scene, said that AR was upset that his neighbors gathered around to witness him being picked up.
“Luckily the officers dispersed the crowd, although [AR] momentarily hugged one of the residents,” Uus said on Friday, adding that only a distance of around 3 meters separated AR and the crowd that gathered to watch his departure.
In addition, Uus said there were also reports from AR’s neighbors of the patient not complying with self-quarantine procedures.
It’s also worth noting here that according to the COVID-19 health protocol in Indonesia, patients are only allowed to be discharged after undergoing two swab tests and getting negative results from both. Uus said that in AR’s case, doctors allowed him to go home as long as he self-quarantined, as the result of the second swab test came out longer than expected.