Eight men who refused to wear face masks in public have been ordered to dig graves for those who died from COVID-19 in Indonesia.
The province of East Java has imposed mandatory face masks in public in an attempt to curb the rise in coronavirus cases.
The punishment was applied in Cerme district where its district chief, Suyono, said he punished residents who did not obey the rules by having them dig graves in a cemetery in Ngabetan village.
Two people were assigned to each grave, one digging the grave and the other laying wooden planks inside to support the corpse.
“There are only three gravediggers available at the moment, so I thought I might as well have these people work with them,” Suyono said. Tribun News.
“I hope this can create a deterrent effect against violations.”
The rule breakers were not required to touch the corpses – a task that was left to local health officials wearing full personal protective equipment.
Wearing a mask became mandatory in Indonesia on April 5 and officially became law in July.
President Joko Widodo declared a public health emergency on March 31.
Digging graves is not the only unusual punishment some Indonesians have received. Police last week forced mask violators to sit in a hearse containing a coffin, where they were asked to reflect on their actions.
Vendors who broke the rules also saw their stores temporarily closed, their identity papers confiscated and were forced to clean the open drains as punishment, law enforcement coordinator Ugas Irwanto said.
Indonesia has reported more than 218,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, as well as 8,723 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. It has the highest death toll in Southeast Asia.
Australians should stay at least 1.5 meters from others. Check your state’s restrictions on collection limits.
If you have cold or flu symptoms, stay home and schedule a test by calling your doctor or contacting the coronavirus health information hotline on 1800 020 080.
News and information are available in 63 languages on sbs.com.au/coronavirus
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