Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government on Sunday banned the use and spitting of tobacco in public places to arrest the possible spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.

Chewing tobacco products, such as gutkha and khaini and few other pan masala and areca nut (supari) 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

In view of the increasing danger of Covid-19 pandemic, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has appealed to the general public to refrain from consuming the tobacco products and spitting in public places during the Covid-19 epidemic.

The Centre has said that the State and Union territories have the necessary authority under the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act and other various provisions of the Indian Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) to deal with COVID-19.

The AP government issued the order under Section 2 of The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and The Disaster Management Act, 2005. The order refrained the public from consuming smokeless tobacco, chewable tobacco/non-tobacco products and spitting sputum in public places/institutions with immediate effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special chief secretary to the AP Government, Dr. K.S. Jawahar Reddy, said that violation of the above order is punishable under the provisions of Indian Penal Code -1860 and Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.Pc).

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