The punished residents have been ordered to dig graves at a public cemetery in Ngabetan village, said Cerme district head, Suyono.
Eight people who refused to wear face masks in public during the coronavirus pandemic were ordered by local authorities to dig graves for people who haddhad from COVID-19 in Gresik regency, East Java in Indonesia.
“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, according to a report by the Jakarta Post.
The punished residents have been ordered to dig graves at a public cemetery in Ngabetan village, Suyono reportedly said.
Suyono assigned two people to each grave to assist the gravediggers. Of the two people, one is tasked with digging the grave while the other with laying wooden boards inside the hole to support the corpse, said the report. No anti-maskers, who are being punished, are forced to handle the dead bodies, it noted.
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The action can hopefully create a deterrent effect against violations, Suyono was quoted as saying.
Suyono further said that the number of COVID-19 cases continued to increase in Cerme, which had prompted the village administration to strengthen protocols in the region, said the report.
According to the Regent Law No. 22/2020, residents who violate the protocols are subject to fines or community service as punishment, added the report.
Meanwhile Indinesia’s capital Jakarta has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Indonesia's virus task force said more than 54,000 of the nation's 218,000 cases of COVID-19 were in Jakarta. The city also has recorded 1,391 deaths of the nation's toll of 8,723.
On September 13, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced two weeks of social restrictions from September 14 to 27, in what he described as an emergency decision to control a rapid expansion in coronavirus cases in Jakarta.
During the restriction, social, economic, religious, cultural and academic activities will be restricted, with 11 essential sectors, like food, construction and banking, allowed to operate with health protocols and 50 percent of usual staffing levels. Schools, parks, recreation sites and wedding reception venues must close entirely. Restaurants and cafes are limited to takeaway and delivery service. Shopping centers must limit the number of visitors and their hours. Only religious places at residential areas are able to open.
Jakarta previously imposed large-scale social restrictions from April to June, then eased the gradually with businesses reopening and using health protocols. But the virus has spread significantly since June, and medical facilities are filling with sick patients.
(With inputs from agencies)Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.