Jakarta, 4 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) – People who refuse to wear face coverings to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the Indonesian capital Jakarta can choose to lie in a coffin for over a minute instead of doing community service or paying a fine.
Authorities in East Jakarta introduced the unusual measure to make those who refuse to wear a mask think about the deadly consequences of their actions, after daily cases surpassed 1,000 in recent days, officials said on Wednesday.
“Think about what happens if you catch Covid-19,” an official told an offender as he was lying in an open casket in a video that went viral on the internet.
Abdul Syukur, one of those who were caught not wearing a mask, said he opted to lie in an open coffin because he did not have the money to pay a fine of about 17 dollars.
“I was delivering something so I could not do the [community service] cleaning work. I could choose to pay the fine but I didn’t have money,” he was quoted as saying by the Tribun News website.
Jakarta officials have also erected fake coffins with a board showing daily coronavirus figures in locations around the city to remind people about the consequences of not wearing a mask.
Indonesia has recorded more than 180,000 coronavirus cases, with more than 7,600 deaths from Covid-19.
Daily cases have been climbing since the country reopened the economy in June, after three months of partial lockdown.
Indonesia, an archipelago nation of 265 million people, has one of the lowest coronavirus testing rates in the world.