According to the latest news, local authorities in Indonesia’s East Java have devised an unconventional strategy to penalise people who refused to wear face masks and asked them to dig graves at a public cemetery in Ngabetan village.
A report in The Jakarta Post read that the local administration instructed eight people in Gresik regency, East Java to dig graves for those who have succumbed to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus as punishment for refusing to wear face masks in public spaces. In accordance with the Regent Law No. 22/2020, people who flout the protocols are subject to fines or community service as punishment, the report added.
“There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them,” Suyono, Cerme district head, was quoted as saying. He added that two persons were designated a grave where one was given the responsibility of digging and the other has asked to lay wooden boards inside the hole to support the corpse.
He added, “Hopefully this can create a deterrent effect against violations.” He also went on to express concerns over the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Cerme, and added that this had resulted in authorities tightening Covid-related protocols in the village.
This took place while Indonesia recorded its sixth consecutive day of over 3,000 new cases of novel coronavirus infection, as the capital city of Southeast Asia’s most populous country geared up to re-impose social distancing curbs on Sunday. New infections on Sunday reached 3,636 with new deaths at 73, showed data from the health ministry’s website. That took the total number of cases to 218,382 and fatalities to 8,723, several news agencies stated.