People who have been caught not wearing a face mask in Indonesia have been ordered to dig graves for those who had died of coronavirus, as a 'deterrent' for violating the rules.
Officials in Gresik regency, east Java, found a creative way to punish eight locals who had refused to wear a face mask - getting them to help solve a shortage on grave diggers by standing in.
The eight people were made to dig graves at a public cemetery in Ngabetan village, with Cerme district head Suyono telling Tribun News: "There are only three available grave diggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work for them."
Suyono added: "Hopefully this can create a deterrent effect against violations."
They were assigned to dig the graves in groups of two, but were not forced to participate in the following funeral services.
The number of coronavirus cases has been continuing to rise in Cerme, prompting the village to ramp up preventative measures.
This means residents ignoring such protocols will be subject to fines or community services, such as grave digging.
Cerme Police chief Adj. Pol. Comm. Moh. Nur Amin said the police would cooperate with the military to enforce the measures, such as dispersing public gatherings.
"We urge the public to wear face masks in accordance with the Covid-19 health protocols," he said.
Meanwhile, Java capital Jakarta has been placed under stricter social restrictions from today (Monday 14 September), as Indonesian authorities attempt to curb a rise of virus infections - which have started to push the area's critical care hospital capacity to 'unsafe levels', according to the Associated Press.
Jakarta Governor AniesBaswedan said the new restrictions Sunday would last for two weeks until 27 September, describing the move as an emergency decision to control the surge of cases in Jakarta.
Social, economic, religious, cultural and academic activities have all been restricted, with 11 essential sectors including 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, while restaurants and cafes are limited to takeaway and delivery service, and shopping centres must limit the number of visitors and their hours.
The AP reports Indonesia's virus task force said more than 54,000 of the nation's 218,000 cases of Covid-10 are in Jakarta, and that the city also has recorded 1,391 deaths of the nation's toll of 8,723.
Task force spokesperson WikuAdisasmito said Jakarta has had the largest number of transmissions in Indonesia in the last five weeks.
"We should do these restrictions earlier, so we can control the positive case numbers and the death rate," Adisasmito said.
Featured Image Credit: Kuncoro Widyo Rumpoko/Pacific Press/Shutterstock
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