Eight anti-maskers in Indonesia have been forced to dig the graves of COVID victims, in what local authorities hope will be a solid deterrent.
Indonesia authorities have ordered a handful of people who broke the country’s face mask laws to dig graves for COVID-19 victims, according to The Jakarta Post.
The district of Cerme is governed by a man named Suyono, who has punished eight scofflaws with manual labour at a local cemetery in the hope that digging holes for victims of the pandemic would double as a decent deterrent.
“There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them,” the politician told local media, according to the paper.
“Hopefully this can create a deterrent effect against violations,” he added.
Based on local law, residents who violate the protocols are subject to fines or community service as punishment.
The paper was quick to note that “none of the rulebreakers were forced to handle the corpses and only local health officials wearing full-body protective equipment are allowed to do so to limit the risk of exposure.”
Indonesia has seen infections on the rise with more than 221,000 cases, including at least 8,841 deaths, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, The New York Post noted.
Commenters were quick to pile on, with one suggesting that the punishment “should be imposed to (sic) those in the highest office in Indonesia who failed to protect the people.”
Another, which certainly could be Suyono himself, noted that we shouldn’t “underestimate the power of laziness. Nobody wants to dig holes.”
In the capital, Jakarta, a $23 fine or one hour of community service is the punishment for failing to wear a mask in public. However, authorities have decided to get rather more creative when punishing anti-maskers.
Last week, a video posted on the official Instagram page of Jakarta’s Vice-Governor shows a man ushered into a coffin on a busy street and forced to count to a hundred before authorities let him out. According to those in charge, the punishment was “done to illustrate the danger of ending up in a real coffin if people fail to heed health warnings.”