Jakarta. Padurenan Public Cemetery in Bekasi, West Java has opened a new burial ground on Friday after a fresh wave of Covid-19 victims' bodies quickly filling up its old burial spaces.
Since the beginning of the week, the cemetery has been receiving about 9 to 10 bodies of Covid-19 patients every day, double the number in the previous few weeks.
Funeral service workers in protective gear work overtime to ensure the victims were properly buried. Still, the cemetery often had to reject two or three bodies that arrived late on the day, either due to incomplete paperwork, bad weather, or that the workers did not have the energy and time to dig the extra burial holes.
The cemetery, located about 33 kilometers to the southeast of Jakarta, still had a 9-hectare empty plot of land for burial grounds, enough for more than 13,000 graves.
West Java has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cases in the past two weeks as Indonesia saw a new pandemic wave. West Java reported 2,104 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing up the total cases to more than 342,000 cases, the second-highest in Indonesia after Jakarta. The province also reported 15 deaths on Saturday, increasing the death toll to 4,547.
Experts suspected increasing mobilities after Idul Fitri holiday, compounded with new, more infectious virus variants and deteriorating discipline in implementing the health protocols, were the main reasons behind the spike.