As a measure to curtail community transmission of coronavirus among Indonesians, the country’s government has made no fewer than 54 people arrested after contravening COVID-19 protocol to pray at graves side of those that died of the virus complications.
The government said that asking violators to offer prayers at Delta Praloyo cemetery, Sidoarjo, East Java was a punishment belted out to serve as a deterrent in the country.
As gathered, most of the health protocol violators were said to have left their houses for social events without face mask, an act that contravenes the protocols set by the government to prevent further spread of the virus in the country.
Explaining reason for the punishment, Chief of the Sidoarjo City Police Senior Commissioner, Sumardji, in an interview with newsmen on Saturday, stated that efforts would be made to ensure citizens adhere strictly to the protocols.
“It seems that social punishment for health protocol violators in connection with clean public facilities did not have a deterrent effect, so we take the initiative to order violators to pray together at the graves of COVID-19 victims in Sidoarjo,” he explained.
The police boss stated that the violated were rounded up for not wearing masks when police, military, and public order agency (Satpol PP) personnel raided coffee shops and cafes during the night curfew.
“Currently, several residents of Sidoarjo continue to ignore health protocols. The level of discipline among residents, particularly those not wearing masks and violating night curfew, is still low,” he pointed out.
Security agencies have regularly conducted raids by using social punishment to bring to book violators. However, the punishment had yet to deter them, he stated.
“This is part of our efforts to deter them. In addition, the punishment is aimed at sending across a moral message to the residents of Sidoarjo on the concrete dangers of COVID-19,” he added.