Mumbai: As Maharashtra stands the worst affected state in the country by a coronavirus, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has decided to take strict action against people found spitting, smoking, or blowing their nose in public in order to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
The decision was taken by the government fearing that spitting in public will further spread COVID29 infection as it is a contagious disease.
The government issued a notification that says that offenders will face up to six months in jail and repeaters up to two years in jail.
Public Health Minister of Maharashtra Rajesh Tope said, “Since Maharashtra has the highest number of active coronavirus cases in India, the state government has decided to enforce strict legislation against spitting and smoking in public.”
The health department in the state invoked the provisions of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, and offenders will be penalized under the Indian Penal Code from now on.
“Spitting is also contributing to spreading Covid-19. Considering this, we have decided to implement the prohibitory laws more strictly. Repeat offenders will be jailed for a minimum of six months,” Tope said.
Maharashtra government had put a ban in the year 2013 on manufacturing, storage, distribution, transportation, and sale of Tobacco and Scented Supari in the state.
The offenders are currently fined Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 for the first three offenses of spitting and smoking in public following provisions under the Bombay Police Act.
Currently, Maharashtra has almost 60000 COVID19 cases and is worst affected in this pandemic