Covid-19: Odisha district imposes Rs 500 fine for spitting in public places
Authorities in Odisha’s coastal district of Ganjam have banned spitting in public places to check the spread of coronavirus and warned that those violating the ban will be fined Rs 500.
Warning people against spitting outside, Ganjam district collector Vijay Amruta Kulange in a tweet said if caught in the act, violators will have to pay a fine of Rs 500.
In Odisha, 60 positive cases of Covid-19 have been reported so far. The disease has claimed one life in the state.
A month ago, chief minister Naveen Patnaik too had appealed to the people to stop chewing paan and spitting in the open to stop the virus from spreading.
The ban on spitting came in the wake of the Union health ministry asking all states to prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco and spitting in public places to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Chewing smokeless tobacco products, paan masala and areca nut increases the production of saliva followed by a very strong urge to spit. Spitting in public places could enhance the spread of the Covid-19 virus,” the ministry said in a letter to chief secretaries of all states and union territories a few days ago.
States and Union Territory governments have necessary authority to ban spitting under the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act and under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc).
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) had also appealed to people to refrain from consuming smokeless tobacco products and spitting in public places.
Earlier this month, the Ganjam district administration had made it compulsory for anyone coming out on the street to wear masks and said those violating would be penalized with Rs 1000 in urban areas and Rs 500 in rural areas.
India now has over 11,000 cases of Covid-19 and almost 400 people have died of it.