Local authorities of an Indonesian province have decided to create a unique punishment for anti-maskers, or people who don't follow the strict health and safety measures currently imposed throughout the country: by forcing them to dig graves for COVID-19 victims.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken over 933,000 people's lives since the global health crisis started earlier this year.
To avoid further cases and deaths in Indonesia, the country has imposed strict health measures following the World Health Organization's (WHO) guidelines, which include wearing masks and physical distancing, especially in public.
Nevertheless, eight people in the Indonesian regency of Gresik in East Java had to learn the hard way what happens to those who don't follow the orders.
According to a report by the New York Post, the Indonesian anti-maskers were forced by the local authorities to dig graves at a local cemetery for people whose lives have been claimed by COVID-19, seemingly facing what their possible future would look like if they continue to disobey the rules.
"There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them," said Cerme district head Suyono, according to local news outlet The Jakarta Post. "Hopefully, this can create a deterrent effect against violations."
Digging Graves for COVID-19 Victims
To clarify, the anti-maskers were only forced to do manual labor.
There are two people assigned at each grave, with one digging the ground while the other lay the wooden boards inside the hole that will support the body.
Nevertheless, they did not and were not allowed to handle the corpses to ensure their safety, as past reports show that even the dead could spread the deadly virus to the living.
The country assures that only health officers' incomplete personal protective gear can handle dead coronavirus victims to limit exposure risk.
Furthermore, Suyono said that the number of COVID-19 cases in Cerma is climbing, which is why they had to strengthen the village's protocols, and based on their local law, anyone who violates these protocols is subject to paying a fine or community service, such as digging graves.
Meanwhile, Cerma police chief Adj. Pol. Comm. Moh. Nur Amin said that the police are ready to cooperate with the country's military force to help enforce the protocols, including dispersing any social gathering.
This is not the first time Indonesia was on the headlines for its unique COVID-19 punishments.
Back in April, two Indonesians who disobeyed self-isolation rules while the country is under lockdown were forced to quarantine in a well-known local haunted house in the Sragen regency in Central Java, as per a previous post by Tech Times.
The village has also previously had men wear costumes as "pocong" or Indonesian zombies who were then stationed on the village's main entrance to scare the locals into staying at home.
As of writing, Indonesia already has more than 221,500 cases and a total of 8,841 deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Written by: Nhx Tingson