As the rising coronavirus positive cases remain a matter of serious concern, various district administrations in Bihar have imposed a ban on spitting on public streets. The authorities have warned the people of sending them to jail for six months if they are found violating the order.

A number of districts like Muzaffarpur, Begusarai, Jehanabad, East Champaran, Purnia, Kaimur and Supaul imposed a ban on spitting of betel juice, any chewable tobacco or non-tobacco products or sputum at public places. As per the order, the violators will have to cough up a fine of Rs 200 failing which they will have to stay in jail for six months.

Authorities were compelled to issue the order as chewing tobacco or gutka and spitting on the public places is very common in the state which has been posing serious health hazards. The people have failed to mend their ways despite several warnings in the past. The practice is quite common especially in the rural areas where villagers could be seen carrying tobacco boxes in their pockets and rubbing them along the streets or even while walking on the roads.

“Quite many people have been found spitting on the roads which could increase chances of others getting infected with the Coronavirus. So this has been banned,” Jehanabad district magistrate Navin Kumar told the media.

The authorities took the decision in view of the advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex health research body which advised the masses not to spit in public in view of the increasing danger of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Spitting in public places could enhance the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the ICMR said adding, “In view of the increasing dangers of COVID-19 pandemic, it is an appeal to the general public to refrain from consuming the smokeless tobacco products and spitting in public places during the COVID epidemic.”

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus positive cases climbed to 51 in Bihar on Thursday with as many as 12 new cases reported in the past 24 hours. Of the 12 cases reported in the past 24 hours, 10 belong to the same family in Siwan district which has emerged as the hotspot of the COVID-19. Siwan alone has reported 20 cases so far. In addition to Siwan, Begusarai and Nawada too have been identified as hotspots.

Keeping in view the seriousness of the situation, authorities have imposed a curfew-like lockdown in selected localities of these three districts. “We are imposing a complete lockdown and curfew-like situation in the localities from where these cases have been reported. No one can leave their houses in those areas,” Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey said today.