Indonesian official orders coronavirus victims' graves be dug by people busted without masks

This picture taken in Jakarta on September 16, 2020 shows gravediggers working at the Pondok Ranggon cemetery in Jakarta. - Authorities in the Indonesian capital re-imposed a partial coronavirus lockdown on September 14 and vow to strictly isolate an (ADEK BERRY/AFP via Getty Images)

Eight people who allegedly were caught not wearing masks in Indonesia must dig graves meant for people who died from novel coronavirus as punishment, a local official reportedly ruled.

The offenders were caught without masks in a village in the Cerme District in the East Java province of Indonesia and were ordered by a local leader named Suyono, whom the outlet identifies as the “Cerme sub-district head,” to dig the graves for COVID-19 victims at the Ngabetan Village Public Cemetery, according to a translation of

The Asian country is seeing a surge in COVID-19 transmissions. As of Monday morning, Indonesia had reported at least 248,852 positive COVID-19 cases and 9,677 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine.


“There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them,” Suyono told Tribun News, according to a translation by USA Today. “Hopefully, this can create a deterrent effect against violations.”

USA Today’s translation further describes how two people were assigned to each plot – with one person responsible for digging the grave and the other tasked with installing wooden planks.

They were barred from touching the victims’ bodies and partaking in any ceremonies.

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