VIJAYAWADA: To contain the spread of COVID-19, the Andhra Pradesh State government on Sunday
prohibited spitting in public places. Violators will be punished under the provisions of Indian Penal Code -1860 and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc), the orders issued by the State government said.
Stating that the habit of public spitting poses a serious threat to the spread of infections, the government said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of hygiene and cleanliness in both personal as well as public sphere and there is a need to impose restrictions on unhealthy practices that may potentially lead to spread of such viruses and other infections.
The orders were issued following a letter addressed by the Under Secretary to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Tobacco Control Division) to the States informing that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued an appeal to the general public not to consume and spit smokeless tobacco in public. As per the appeal, chewing smokeless tobacco products, paan-masala and areca nut (supaari) increases the production of saliva followed by a very strong urge to spit. "Spitting in public places enhance the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In view of increasing danger of COVID-19 pandemic, ICMR has appealed the general public to refrain from consuming the smoke-less tobacco products and spitting in public places during the COVID-19 epidemic,'' the letter said.
The State government is authorised to act against violators of spitting in public places under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and also under various provisions of Indian Penal Code 1860 and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
"As per the provisions under Section 2 of The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 (Act No. 3 of 1897) and provisions made under The Disaster Management Act, 2005, consuming smokeless tobacco or chewable tobacco/non-tobacco product, sputum etc and spitting in public places/institutions with immediate effect during the Covid epidemic,'' the orders said adding that any violation of the order is punishable under the provisions of IPC-1860 and CrPC.