The Ukrainian city of Dnipro has so far registered only 13 coronavirus infections and no fatalities attributed to COVID-19, but the local authorities have already dug over 600 fresh graves, just to be sure.
Unwilling to risk insubordination from his constituents, the mayor of Dnipro, a city of almost one million people, has gone to extreme lengths to make sure locals understand the dangers of ignoring social distancing measures.
Oddity Central reported that last week, Mayor Borys Filatov wrote on Facebook that local authorities were preparing for the worst, adding that over 600 new graves had been dug in preparation for anticipated deaths.
“We are preparing for the worst. Not 400, but 600 graves were dug in the city cemeteries for the possible burial of deaths from coronavirus. One-thousand thick plastic bags were bought for storing bodies,” Filatov wrote.
The Dnipro mayor’s spokeswoman, Yulia Vitvitska, confirmed to AFP that the city dug 615 graves and readied 2,000 body bags in preparation for Covid-19 deaths. Mayor Filatov also mentioned that medical workers would be prohibited from performing autopsies on people believed to have died from coronavirus infection.
If these statements weren’t enough to scare people to obey social distancing rules in the city, photos of hundreds of freshly dug graves in a large field surrounded by forest at a cemetery lined with orthodox crosses outside the city had started trending online.
Response to the mayor’s statements has been mixed, with some accusing him of only creating more panic among already anxious locals, and other crediting him for taking the right approach, by psychologically coercing people to be more cautious.
Filatov himself has been unapologetic about his statements, saying: “This is not panic, but logistics. God forbid we will need the graves and body bags.”