Indonesians Caught Without Masks In Public Forced To Dig Graves For COVID-19 Victims
Photo Credit: Pura Besakih, largest and holiest temple of Hindu religion in Bali on the slopes of Mount Agung, volcano in eastern Bali, Indonesia. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Pura Besakih, largest and holiest temple of Hindu religion in Bali on the slopes of Mount Agung, volcano in eastern Bali, Indonesia. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)

Indonesians Caught Without Masks In Public Forced To Dig Graves For COVID-19 Victims

Indonesia , news
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Sep 28, 2020

Local authorities in a rural Indonesian town are forcing people who refuse to wear masks to dig graves for COVID-19 victims–with the hopes that manual labor and empathy will do their part to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Masks are mandatory in public throughout Indonesia but there is a small portion of the population refusing to wear a mask and social distance. 

Health experts say the public’s lack of compliance has made it more difficult for Indonesian authorities to spread the virus. To date, there have been more than 230,000 confirmed positive cases and at least 9,100 reported deaths, according to the Indonesian Health Ministry.

When Indonesia passed a mandatory mask mandate earlier this year,  officials left it to local authorities to determine punishments for those refusing to wear masks. 

A joint team called the “three pillars,” involving the Indonesian National Armed Forces, National Police, and local law enforcement all help with enforcing mask mandates, as reported in CNN.

In Cerme, the “three pillars” give non-compliant individuals two options:  a fine of 150,000 rupiahs ($10) or accepting what the government calls “social punishment” which involves push-ups, cleaning, and now gravedigging.

Meanwhile, authorities in the capital of Jakarta adopted a similar idea where a man was required to sit in a coffin in public after being caught without wearing a mask.