From sweeping to digging, Indonesia gets creative in handling violators of COVID-19 protocols

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim more lives across the country, many provinces have issued stringent health regulations and imposed hefty penalties on violators to ensure public compliance with existing coronavirus protocols.

However, a number of regions have gone the extra mile and devised all-new sanctions for those who fail to abide by health protocols, such as various forms of community service and other unusual tasks.

A violator of COVID-19 health protocols is made to sweep the street by local authorities during a raid, dubbed Operasi Yustisi, in Jati Padang, Jakarta on Sept. 17.(Antara/Aprillio Akbar)

The Jakarta Post has compiled a list of rather unorthodox penalties imposed by several regional administrations across the archipelago to ensure public compliance with COVID-19 protocols as of the time of writing.

Keeping the park tidy

Local residents in Lhokseumawe, Aceh, who violate COVID-19 health protocols are ordered to clean a city park by pulling the weeds by local authorities on Sept. 14.
Local residents in Lhokseumawe, Aceh, who violate COVID-19 health protocols are ordered to clean a city park by pulling the weeds by local authorities on Sept. 14. (Kompas.com/Masriadi)

Residents of Lhokseumawe, Aceh, who do not wear a face mask in public could find themselves cleaning up a local park by pulling weeds as a form of administrative sanction.

A joint team of the Lhokseumawe Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), National Police and Indonesian Military (TNI) carry out inspections around Taman Hidayah near Simpang Empat on Monday to ensure compliance with the administration’s mask-wearing rule.

Lhokseumawe Police head Adj. Sr. Comr. Eko Hartanto said about 100 locals had been instructed to pull weeds around the public park after they were caught without a mask.

“After they pulled weeds, we gave them free masks. We keep a record of their identities to prevent them from repeating the offense,” Eko said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.

The sanction, he said, was stipulated in Lhokseumawe Mayoral Regulation No. 24/2020.

As per the regulation, residents who are repeatedly found without a mask will be denied administrative services.

As of Wednesday, Aceh has recorded 3,127 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 115 deaths.

Under the scorching sun

The South Tangerang administration in Banten has taken a no-nonsense approach against health protocol violators.

According to its latest policy, residents found not wearing a mask are subject to sanctions that test their physical endurance, exposing them to the scorching hot sun and doing an 800-meter sprint.

Around 30 residents were caught without masks during a local Satpol PP inspection in Nusa Loka, Serpong, on Wednesday.

South Tangerang Satpol PP investigation and enforcement head Muksin Al Fachry said some people who had masks did not wear them properly.

“Some ‘sunbathed’ for 30 minutes, while others were told to sprint 200 meters four times and do 10 push-ups,” Muksin said, adding that he expected such sanctions to bring a deterrent effect against violators.

South Tangerang Deputy Mayor Benyamin Davnie previously said the administration had recorded a decrease in public adherence to health protocols in recent weeks.

As of Wednesday, Banten has recorded 3,774 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 119 deaths.

Clean up, clean up

Several motorists in Duren Sawit, East Jakarta found themselves caring more for the surrounding environment than they may usually do as they were told to sweep the ground after they were found to have violated the mask-wearing protocol by local authorities.

Dimas Adikumara, a 29-year-old resident of Bekasi, West Java, was among those who were penalized during a traffic inspection in Duren Sawit on Wednesday.

He chose to sweep the grounds along the Kalimalang riverbank for an hour rather than pay a Rp 250,000 (US$16.69) fine for improperly wearing a mask.

Jakarta Police traffic division deputy director Adj. Sr. Comr. Hari Purnomo said some mask-wearing motorists had failed to comply with Article 4 of Gubernatorial Regulation No. 79/2020, which stipulates that a mask must cover one’s nose, mouth and chin.

As of Wednesday, Jakarta has recorded 57,469 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,481 deaths.

Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers handle COVID-19 protocols violators by telling them to clean a river during a raid in Banjarsari, Surakarta, Central Java on Sept. 16.
Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers handle COVID-19 protocols violators by telling them to clean a river during a raid in Banjarsari, Surakarta, Central Java on Sept. 16. (Antara/Mohammad Ayudha)

Sitting in a hearse alongside casket

COVID-19 protocol violators in Probolinggo made to sit in hearse with casket
The Probolinggo COVID-19 task force in East Java has ordered dozens of people at Maron Market to get into a hearse containing a casket used for transporting COVID-19 patients’ bodies, after they were caught not wearing a mask.

The Probolinggo COVID-19 task force in East Java has ordered dozens of people at Maron Market to get into a hearse containing a casket used for transporting COVID-19 patients’ bodies after they were caught not wearing a mask.

Some 50 sellers and customers took turns to stay in the ambulance for several minutes on Sept. 8 as a social punishment.

“We punished 50 sellers and customers at Maron Market by making them stay in a hearse,” said the task force’s security and law enforcement coordinator, Ugas Irwanto.

Prior to entering the hearse, the task force gave the violators face masks.

Inside the hearse, Ugas added, violators were asked to reflect on their actions. The task force also reminded them how the COVID-19 pandemic had taken a lot of lives.

As of Wednesday, East Java has recorded 39,181 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,867 deaths.

Grave-digging

Gresik residents made to dig graves as punishment for not wearing face masks
Eight people in Gresik regency, East Java, were ordered by local authorities to dig graves for those who have died of COVID-19 as punishment for not wearing face masks in public.

Eight people in Gresik regency, East Java, were ordered by local authorities to dig graves for those who have died of COVID-19 as punishment for not wearing face masks in public on Sept. 10.

Cerme district head Suyono said residents who did not wear face masks were punished with the task of digging graves at a public cemetery in Ngabetan village.

“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 tribunnews.com.

To assist the gravediggers, Suyono assigned two people to each grave. One was tasked with digging the grave, while the other laid wooden boards inside the hole to support the corpse.

“Hopefully this can create a deterrent effect against violations,” Suyono said.

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

THE JAKARTA POST

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