Eight Indonesians who refused to wear face masks were ordered by a local official to dig graves for Covid-19 victims as punishment.
As Indonesia is facing a surge of cases, leaders in Cerme, a district in East Java, established strict enforcement of social distancing and mask-wearing policies.
Eight bare-faced culprits fell afoul of the law, and soon found themselves being marched to local cemeteries and handed spades for grave-digging duties.
The district’s leader, identified by Indonesian news site Tribun News as Suyono, had proposed the punishment due to a lack of local gravediggers.
“There are only three available gravediggers here at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them,” he told Tribun News. “Hopefully, this can create a deterrent effect against further violations.”
Two wrongdoers are assigned to each grave – one to dig and the other to put wooden boards down inside to support the bodies.
Cremation and embalming are not permitted in Indonesia, and corpses are traditionally interred without a coffin.
The mask malcontents were not permitted to take part in any traditional ceremonies, reported the Jakarta Post.
They were also forbidden from touching the corpses for health reasons. Instead, local officials wearing protective equipment buried the bodies.
Indonesia has the highest current coronavirus death toll in Southeast Asia, with nearly 9,000 deaths as of Tuesday.