Gun-toting scarecrows pop up in rural Cambodia to ‘ward off’ Covid-19

As coronavirus spreads through southeast Asia, superstitious communities turn to 'ting mong' effigies used during previous illness outbreaks.

It may not be endorsed by medical professionals, but a unique and mildly eerie way to ward off Covid-19 is being attempted in Cambodia: the deployment of machine gun-toting scarecrows.

Through March, when the coronavirus spread in much of southeast Asia, the amount of human effigies spotted in rural areas of the country increased.

Known as ting mong, and often armed with fake guns or swords, they guard home entrances and are believed to protect those inside from spirits who may wish to infect them with illness.

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