Hyderabad: The Telangana government, on 8 April, banned spitting of paan, chewable tobacco or non-tobacco product, and sputum in public places in the interest of public health and safety. The ban will be imposed across the state with immediate effect, according to a government order issued on Wednesday.

Spitting in public poses a serious threat to people’s safety in view of the current COVID-19 situation. The government said it was important to impose restrictions on unhealthy practices that may potentially lead to the spread of such viruses and other infections.

An official government order issued by the state health and family welfare department reads, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of hygiene and cleanliness in both personal as well as public places and the need to impose restrictions on unhealthy practices that may potentially lead to spread of such viruses and other infections. The habit of public spitting poses a serious threat to the spread of such infections. In the interest of public health and safety, the spitting of paan/any chewable tobacco or non-tobacco product, sputum, etc in public places and institutions is hereby banned with immediate effect.”

In response to the order, Hyderabad Commissioner of police Anjani Kumar said, ” If any one is caught spitting at public places, he/she is liable to be punished under section 188 and 269 Indian Penal Code. Nature of evidence is photography, video graph and CCTV footage or eye witness’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown on 24 March as a precautionary measure to control the spread of the Corona virus. In a recent press meet, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had suggested extending the lockdown.

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