Indonesian villagers forced to dig graves for coronavirus deaths after being captured without a mask


People caught without a mask in an area of ​​Indonesia are forced to dig graves for those who die from COVID-19.Local officials in Cerme district in Gresik Regency, east Java, on September 9 ordered three middle-aged men and five minors to dig graves for COVID-19 victims, CNN reported Thursday.

Indonesia has a mask warrant, but some have opposed wearing masks and social distancing, with the country having confirmed 232,628 cases of COVID-19 and 9,222 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The country’s officials instituted the mask mandate in July, but have allowed local authorities to determine penalties for disobeying the rule.

In Cerme district, authorities are ordering those who refuse to wear masks either to pay 150,000 rupees ($ 10) or to complete social punishment. Social punishment is the most popular choice, District Chief Suyono told CNN, which usually includes pushups or cleaning.

He told the network he hoped that digging graves will help convey “firsthand the real and serious effect of COVID-19”. Gravediggers are not present when the bodies are buried, he added.

Cases continue to rise in the Southeast Asian country as Indonesia’s health system reaches capacity. All emergency units at 20 Jakarta hospitals that have been approved to treat COVID-19 patients are full, officials said Monday, according to CNN.


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