Indonesian health authorities in Batam have been on the hunt for a woman, Hertina Linda who smeared her face with the saliva of a deceased COVID-19 patient with worries that she will further spread the disease on the island. It is said that the deceased patient is the pastor of a church who died and was tested positive for COVID-19 on August 19th, 2020.
Hertina was an active churchgoer and reports state that it could be likely that she smeared herself with the priest’s saliva as an act of defiance and “distrust” towards the virus.
It also doesn’t help that as of 23 August 2020, Batam has confirmed 455 COVID-19 cases.
Reports state that following the passing of a 47-year-old pastor to COVID-19 recently, 24 of his friends and family arranged a force pick-up from the BP Batam Hospital morgue.
This is because at the time of his death he had not yet tested positive for coronavirus. Reluctant to wait for his test results, the pastor’s family and friends retrieved his corpse to hold funeral rites at his residence.
This is when things get weird. During the retrieval of the pastor’s body from the hospital, a woman inserted her fingers into the mouth of the deceased and smeared his saliva on her face all while taunting the hospital’s doctors. I just wanna know..why?!
Later on the test results revealed that the pastor was indeed infected with the coronavirus and his body was taken back to the hospital to be dealt in line with COVID-19 operating procedures. 23 out of the 24 people who picked up his body initially were swab tested and 12 were found positive.
Hertina, who is said to be a vendor at a market is one of the 24 that has fleed the authorities. Her true motivation for smearing saliva on her face still remains a mystery to the healthcare authorities and bystanders. It could just be her way of coping with her pastor’s death.
Cover image sourced from Kompas