Gravediggers put a coffin into a grave of a victim of the Covid-19 in Bogor, Indonesia. | Photo- PA Images.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of damage across the globe and in a bid to curtail its spread, authorities have mandated the use of face masks.
Defaulters who were caught not using face masks in Ngabetan in East Java province of Indonesia have been punished by being made to dig graves for coronavirus victims.
In photos that capture their punishment, eight alleged rule-breakers were seen preparing plots in a public cemetery. The flouters were paired up, with one digging a hole and the other placing wooden planks to lay the corpses.
Only health officials in PPE are allowed to handle bodies.
“Hopefully this can create a deterrent,” said Suyono, a village leader.
He went on to explain that with the defaulters being made to dig graves, the area’s flagging-number of gravediggers has been increased.
Already, those caught violating rules are punished with fines or community service, and the military is also used to disperse crowds.
Ngabenta is not the only one using shock tactics to ensure compliance with safety laws guiding against the spread of coronavirus.
Police in Probolinggo, East Java, punished anti-maskers by forcing them to sit with a coffin in a hearse. While shopkeepers found guilty of breaching the rules have been forced to close for a week.
The photo of a woman kneeling over her doctor husband’s coffin recently went viral in Indonesia went viral.
Speaking about the high fatality rate among doctors, Halik Malik, the spokesman for the Indonesian Medical Association, said the limited amount of protective equipment, isolation rooms and low screening of patients is the major cause.
“The number of doctors dying in Indonesia is still relatively high, even increasing in the past two months,” he said.