Wear a mask or dig a grave: Unique punishment enforced in Indonesia

Like most places, mask-wearing is mandatory in Indonesia. But if you are caught slipping in one of the villages, you might be forced to dig graves for victims of COVID-19.

In Indonesia, almost 230,000 people have been infected with coronavirus. However, many persons are not so keen on wearing masks to limit the spread of the virus. Sadly, they are also reluctant to practise social distancing.

As the number of cases in the country increased, the government passed a law in July, making masks wearing mandatory. However, they allowed local officials to determine the punishment.

In Cerme district of Gresik Regency, East Java, you can pay a fine of 150,000 rupiahs (US$10) or accept what is referred to a ‘social punishment’. The ‘social punishment’ might come in the form of cleaning or some form of exercise. But it might also be digging graves for persons who have died from COVID-19.

That was the punishment three men and five minors received in Cerme district on September 9.