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Indonesian non-maskers ordered to dig graves for coronavirus dead

Indonesian authorities have resorted to unconventional tactics to enforce coronavirus restrictions [Getty

Date of publication: 16 September, 2020

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Rule flouters in East Java were ordered to dig graves in pairs as punishment for not wearing masks.

Eight people who flouted mask rules in East Java, Indonesia were ordered by local authorities to dig the graves of those who had succumbed to Covid-19 as punishment, according to local media.

The head of Cerme district said the rule flouters were made to dig graves in pairs at a cemetery in Ngabetan village, with one of the violators tasked with digging the pit while the other laid wooden planks down to support the corpses.

"There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them," Suyono, the district head, was quoted by Tribun News as saying. "Hopefully this can create a deterrent effect against violations." 

Suyono added that the number of coronavirus cases in Cerme district were rising, leading authorities in the area to take sterner measures.

Local authorities in Indonesia have resorted to unusual methods to enforce coronavirus restrictions, as the country faces one of Southeast Asia's worst outbreaks of the disease.

Earlier this month, the local Covid-19 task force in Probolinggo city, East Java ordered dozens of people to sit inside hearses containing caskets of Covid-19 victims as punishment for not wearing masks.

In the country's capital, Jakarta, officials paraded empty coffins and dressed as ghost-like figures to remind residents of the dangers of the deadly virus.

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