CEBU

City uses hearse, coffins to drum fear of Covid-19 into public’s head

STAY HOME OR DIE. This funeral car warns, “Stay at home so that you don’t end up in a coffin” and “Died of Covid-19 because he did not wear a face mask.” Frustrated Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 gave out flyers and sent out a funeral car to go around the city playing sad songs to remind his stubborn constituents of what could happen if they continue to defy quarantine protocol. Coffins at checkpoints also warn people that Covid-19 is not a joke. Covid-19 has killed 38 people in Lapu-Lapu City. (SunStar photo / Alan Tangcawan)

IT MUST have been a sight to behold.

A hearse covered in tarpaulins with warning messages like “Namatay sa Covid kay wala mag face mask (Killed by Covid for not wearing a face mask)” and “Stay at home aron dili ka mosulod sa lungon (so you won’t end up inside a coffin)” went around the streets of Lapu-Lapu City on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

It was a grim reminder from the City Government of what awaits those who don’t take the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) seriously.

City employees also distributed leaflets to passersby. The leaflets contained the number of people who succumbed to Covid-19 globally and in the country as well as the current total number of infected persons nationwide and in Lapu-Lapu City.

Meanwhile, coffins were on display at the checkpoints at the foot of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge and the public markets in Barangays Poblacion and Buaya.

During the virtual press conference held by Mayor Junard Chan, himself a Covid-19 survivor, he said they came up with these macabre strategies to drum the reality into people’s heads that Covid-19 can and will kill.

“We didn’t use the latest hearse because that type of vehicle is also used to carry tourists. We used the old one. The one that got people scared when they looked at it. It also blared dirges,” Chan said in Cebuano.

The mayor said he wants to see the number of Covid-19 cases in the city dwindle.

Last week, the City Government employed 80 tricycle drivers to go around barangays to instruct residents about the dangers of the highly infectious novel coronavirus.

Chan also called on the City Council to allow citizen’s arrest for those who continue to violate community quarantine protocol, especially those who go out without quarantine passes.

As of last count, Lapu-Lapu City recorded more than 800 Covid-19 cases. (GCM, PJB)


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