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Covid 19 coronavirus: Anti-maskers forced to dig graves for virus victims in Indonesia

New Zealand Herald - September 15, 2020

Indonesian authorities have ordered a group of anti-maskers who broke the country's mask laws to dig graves for Covid-19 victims.

East Java province officials punished eight mask violaters with manual labour at the local cemetery in the hope of deterring others from ignoring the nationwide face-covering mandate, The Jakata Post reported.

The report said the move is also providing a hand to gravediggers who are overwhelmed with work.

"There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them," politician Suyono told local media, according to the paper. "Hopefully this can create a deterrent effect against violations," he added.

Rulebreakers were not made to handle the corpses, instead leaving it to local health officials wearing full-body personal protective equipment due to the risk of being exposed to Covid-19.

A week ago, police also forced mask violaters to sit in a hearse containing a casket. Inside the hearse, violators were asked to reflect on their actions. The task force also reminded them how the Covid-19 pandemic had taken a lot of lives.

Some 50 sellers and customers at Maron Market took turns to stay in the vehicle for several minutes on September 7 as a social punishment. The task force also imposed several other forms of punishment.

"We ordered vendors to close down their shop for a week, confiscated violators' IDs for three months, and asked some of them to clean the market and open sewers," law enforcement co-ordinator Ugas Irwanto said.

According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, Indonesia has more than 221,000 Covid-19 cases and has had at least 8,800 deaths.

Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=1236510