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

Coronavirus
Funeral workers wearing protective suits bury a coffin of a coronavirus victim at Pondok Ranggon cemetery in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sept. 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)

Funeral workers wearing protective suits bury a coffin of a coronavirus victim at Pondok Ranggon cemetery in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sept. 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)

Eight people who refused to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were required to 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, the Jakarta Post reported last week.

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

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

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

Indonesia made wearing masks mandatory on April 5, SBS News in Australia reported. In addition to grave digging, violators in the country also have had to sit in a hearse containing a casket and were 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 said.

Since the outbreak began, 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 toll in Southeast Asia.

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