Anti-maskers in Indonesia forced to dig graves for COVID-19 victims

National News

Funeral workers wearing protective suits bury a coffin of coronavirus (COVID-19) victim at Pondok Ranggon cemetery in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 9, 2020. The cemetery of Pondok Ranggon is almost full as Jakarta’s administration recorded more than 5,000 bodies buried with COVID-19 protocols. (Photo by Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

INDONESIA (KXAN) — Eight people who refused to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 now must dig graves as punishment for violating Indonesian mandates requiring face coverings.

The violators were ordered to dig graves for those who have died from the coronavirus, according to the Jakarta Post.

“There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them,” local politician and Cerme District head Suyono told Tribun News.

Suyono said that two people were assigned to each grave — one to dig and one to line the hole with wooden boards for support. He said the violators did not participate in the actual burials, , however.

“Hopefully, this can create a deterrent effect against violations,” he said.

Indonesia made wearing masks mandatory on April 5, SBS News in Australia reports. In addition to grave digging, violators in the country have also had to sit in a hearse containing a casket and asked to reflect on their actions.

Meanwhile, businesses that violated the rules have been temporarily shut down and ordered to clean sewers as punishment, a law enforcement coordinator reported.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, over 221,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Indonesia, SBS said. This includes 8,841 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Indonesia has the highest death numbers in Southeast Asia.

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