To prevent the transmission of COVID-19 through spitting, the Haryana government has now prohibited the sale and use of chewing gum and bubble gum in the state till June 30. Further, it has asked authorities to effectively implement the ban on gutkha and pan masala, which was announced in September last year.

The order issued on April 1, by the Food and Drug Administration commissioner Ashok Kumar Meena further states, “Whereas WHO has declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a pandemic, there are more than 13,000 persons under the surveillance in Haryana state. It is necessary to take further steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Whereas COVID-19 transmits through droplets, there may be a possibility of transmitting COVID-19 by spitting of chewing gum/bubble gum towards another person,” the New Indian Express reported.

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The report mentions that 13,000 people are under surveillance due to COVID-19 and this is a measure to control the spread of the coronavirus further. As on 03 April, eight more persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Haryana, taking the total number of cases to 43 including 13 discharged. Of the eight new cases, five are from Gurugram and three from Nuh as per the State Health Department (ANI) reports.

“It is a precautionary step to avoid transmission of coronavirus by a symptomatic patient through any of these items. People have the habit of spitting in front of others, which has to be avoided.”

The copy of the order has been sent to all the deputy commissioners, superintendent of police, civil surgeons as per reports. The order further states, “Therefore in the exercise of the powers conferred by the clause (a) of sub section (2) of section 30 of the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006 (Central Act 34 of 2006). I, Ashok Kumar Meena IAS Commissioner Food and Drug Administration department, Haryana hereby prohibit the sale and use of chewing gums/bubble gums and similar products or otherwise by what so ever named called, where packaged or unpackaged and/or sold as one product or through packaged as separate products sold or distributed in any manner whatsoever in the interest of public health for a period of three months from date of issue of this order till June 30 in the state of Haryana.”

Amandeep Chauhan, an officer in the district’s food and drugs control department, said, “It is a precautionary step to avoid transmission of coronavirus by a symptomatic patient through any of these items. People have the habit of spitting in front of others, which has to be avoided. To keep the situation under control at least for some time the prohibition has been imposed,” the Hindustan Times reported.

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In the wake of the dreadful viral infection spreading, the department has also directed the relevant departments to check the sale and distribution of scented or flavoured tobacco, gutkha, pan masala and kharra (a powdered combination of tobacco), areca nut, lime (chuna) and katechu.

The UP government has also banned manufacture and sale of pan masala, saying the move will help stop the spread of coronavirus, late last month.

Picture Credit:  w-dog.net

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