Photo:The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network. Grave business is no laughing matter. Gravediggers in East Jakarta prepare burial sites for deceased Covid-19 patients.

Java, Indonesia–September 13th, 2020–Violators who fail to comply with biosecurity regulations for the mandatory use of masks to prevent COVID-19 contagion will have to dig the graves of people who died of coronavirus, ruled a magistrate on the island of Java in Indonesia.

According to a report published by The Jakarta Post, eight people were sentenced to dig graves for those killed by COVID-19 as punishment for refusing to follow the health protocols in place to confront the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure was ordered in a village in Gresik. “Right now we have only three bulldozers available, so I think we should get these people to work with them,” said the district chief, identified as Hisno.

Local authorities ensured that they will be particularly responsible for preventing reluctant gravediggers from violating infection control measures designed to prevent the spread of the deadly virus from participation in the burials.

The plan is to divide them into teams that assist excavation professionals.

One will dig the grave and the other will install boards to accommodate the coffins, authorities said. “We hope this will have an effect that will stop the violations,” Hisno said.

Based on the Regent Law No. 22/2020, residents who violate the protocols are subject to fines or community service as punishment.

The number of infected has continued to grow in the region, which has led managers to   bring in stricter rules to try to get the epidemic under control.

According to the report by Johns Hopkins University in the United States, Indonesia has so far recorded a total of 225,030 cases of COVID-19, and 8,965 deaths. In recent weeks, however, the number of contagions has visibly increased and just over 100 people were added to the statistics on Monday

There was no word yesterday as to whether any government in the Caribbean had plans to follow suit with similar community service initiatives.