Not Wuhan: Pool party at North Sumatra water park as discount attracts thousands

There ain’t no party like a crowded pool party to get a criminal case going these days, as one water park in North Sumatra found out by attracting a huge crowd of health precaution-ignorant visitors with its discount promo.

Last week, Hairos Water Park, located in Deli Serdang regency just outside the provincial capital of Medan, discounted 50 percent from its entrance fee as it sought to boost faltering visitor numbers. With each visitor having to pay only IDR22,500 (US$1.52), visitors flooded the water park:

People were quick to point out that the scenes were reminiscent of the viral pool party in Wuhan, but with the crucial difference being that, unlike China, Indonesia has yet to even see the peak of its ever-increasing coronavirus infection numbers.

After the footage went viral, local police on Friday announced criminal charges against the general manager of Hairos Water Park, Edi Sahputra, for violating Indonesia’s health quarantine law. Edi may face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to IDR100 million (US$6,741) if found guilty.

“[The discount] was the general manager’s initiative. They did not even routinely disinfect the facilities around the pool,” Medan Police Deputy Chief Irsan Sinuhaji said during a press conference on Friday.

Irsan added that around 2,800 visitors attended the pool party, which featured a live DJ and virtually zero health precautions as visitors bunched shoulder to shoulder in the wave pool.

The Medan Police are also investigating the possible culpability of officers in the local precinct, but early statements regarding the case seem to indicate that the pool party was held without any permission from local officials or law enforcement.

Edi is not the first person to be charged with violating the health quarantine law by holding a massive event. Last week, a city councilor in Tegal, Central Java was also charged for holding a dangdut concert.

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