Anti-maskers are being forced to lie down in coffins as if they had died in a bizarre five-minute punishment.

Police the Jakarta community in Indonesia have been told to stop ordering the controversial punishment for people refusing to wear face coverings.

People not wearing masks were told to lie in coffins for five minutes, pay a fine or carry out community service.

But critics have claimed the bizarre punishment needs to stop.

The bizarre punishment has been scrapped

Those caught in Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta, were told to "contemplate" the potential health risk from their mistake by laying down in the coffin for several minutes on Wednesday and Thursday.

Santoso, the deputy head of Pasar Rebo, said anti-maskers had volunteered to lay in the coffin to escape a fine.

He told Kompas news website: “If they chose social work, they had to clean public facilities for at least one hour. When I asked why they didn’t pay the fine, they replied they didn’t have the money.”

One official said people chose the punishment to avoid a fine

The controversial coffin sentence was scrapped after East Jakarta’s public order agency reprimanded the officers involved.

Agency head Budhy Novial told local media: “According to Gubernatorial Regulation No. 79/2020, sanctions for residents found not wearing face masks in public are fines and community service.

“I’ve reprimanded the officers [who imposed the fake coffin sanction] and urged them to punish violators according to the current regulations."

Other districts in Jakarta have built coffin monuments that feature the death rate data to raise awareness about coronavirus, The Mirror reports.

According to the Jakarta Post, Indonesia is among the countries with the highest death rate among children, surpassing the United States as one of the world's worst-hit country by the pandemic.

The latest data shows that Indonesia has had 191,000 cases of Covid-19, with 136 recovering and 7,490 deaths.

It comes after reports of a “mutated” strain of the disease that is said to be 10 times more infectious was found in the country.