The Indonesian police have taken "educating" COVID-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) flouters a step further by making them dig graves for victims of the disease.

Eight people who did not wear face masks in public, from Cerme district in East Java last week, were ordered to dig graves for COVID-19 victims as a punishment, and also because the local cemeteries are short-handed.

"There are only three available gravediggers at the moment. So, I thought I might as well put these people to work with them. Hopefully, this can create a deterrent effect against violations," Cerme district head Suyono was quoted telling Tribun News, reported Malay Mail.

However, the violators were only instructed to assist in digging the grave at a public cemetery in the Ngabetan village, and not involved in the burial itself.

Besides digging the graves, the violators also helped lay wooden boards in the burial hole to support the corpse.

The burial was then carried out by public health officials clad in full personal protective gear.

This is not the first time Indonesian authorities have used extreme measures to punish COVID-19 SOP violators, including anti maskers.

Previous punishments include doing push-ups, counting to 100, honouring the national flag, lying down in a coffin, and praying for COVID-19 victims at cemeteries in the middle of the night.

Indonesia has one of the highest COVID-19 infection and fatality rate in Asia, with almost 229,000 cases and 9,100 deaths reported so far.

Globally, the COVID-19 infection and death tally have surpassed 30 million and 944,000, respectively.

Source: Tribun News via Malay Mail
Photo source: Reuters