By Tara Rippin • 11 October 2020 • 11:45
People caught without masks in Indonesia forced to dig graves and lie in coffins as part of the country’s morbid punishment for breaking coronavirus rules.
AS the country’s Covid figures continue to rise, harsh penalties have been put in place in East Java ad Jakarta to tackle to try to ‘deter people from neglecting to cover their faces’.
Villagers who are caught not wearing a facemask are given the choice of paying a fine of 150,000 Indonesian Rupiahs (£7.90) or carrying out the ‘coronavirus community service’, reports Sky News.
If they can’t oay the fine obn the spot, and opt for ‘community service’, they are given a high-visibility jacket with ‘violator’ on the back before joining other offenders in the back of a lorry.
As they make their way to cemetery, loudspeakers blast out the fact the passengers have breached regulations to act as a deterent to others.
If someone has died of Covid-19, the offenders are told to dig the grave, otherwise they tidy plots of the newly deceased.
Suyono, Chief of Cerme, Gresik, East Java, said that the cemetery “scares people” and “when they’re scared, they won’t break the rules and they will wear a mask”.
Punishments reportedly vary from digging graves and getting into coffins to lying in ambulances.
Officials in East Java told Sky News that in the last three weeks more than a million people have violated COVID-19 regulations across the region.
Authorities claim the public punishments encourage more people to follow the rules.
Indonesia has a population of 274 million residents and has reported 382,952 coronavirus cases, but experts say the true figures are likely to be much higher.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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