Spitting in Public can Spread Coronavirus: Ban Smokeless Tobacco Products
Bengaluru: Virus in spit remains active for one to three days thus spitting in public places by corona infected person can spread infection. The Karnataka Government has prohibited spitting in public abiding by the order of the Government of India. The Ministry of Home Affairs, in the guidelines for lockdown under the Disaster Management Act has asked all District Heads, Municipal Corporations to ban sale of alcohol, tobacco, gutka and prohibit spitting in public places.
Dr Vivek Shetty, Cancer Surgeon, Narayana Health Bengaluru said that prohibiting spitting in public places by the Karnataka government will certainly play an important role in preventing spread of COVID-19. He said saliva of the corona infected person carries the virus that remains active for 24-72 hours due to which there is a possibility of spreading of infection. It is not only for corona, but spitting in public places can spread other contagious diseases such as tuberculosis. In fact, it is the right time to ban all forms of tobacco products along with pan masala and areca nut in the interest of public health.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its appeal to general public has asked to refrain from consuming smokeless tobacco products along with paan masala and areca nut (supari) and spitting in public, as these products increase the production of saliva followed by a very strong urge to spit.
The Union Health Ministry in its recent advisory has also asked States to prohibit use and spitting of smokeless tobacco in public in the present scenario of coronavirus pandemic. Shrikanth G. of Alamelu Charitable Foundation (Tata Trusts) appreciating the Government said that the Karnataka Government has prohibited spitting in public places, which will certainly help in containing the spread of corona infection because spitting in public places enhances the spread of COVID-19.
Smokers are vulnerable to coronavirus infection because their respiratory system, respiratory tract and lungs are affected due to smoking. It is to be mentioned that in Karnataka 16.3% people use smokeless tobacco, while 8.8% people use tobacco smoking as per GATS-2 data. Health experts request the Chief Minister to totally ban the production, storage and selling of all tobacco products, so that diseases and untimely deaths caused due to tobacco consumption could be stopped and infection can be controlled.
Apart from Karnataka, many states have also prohibited use of smokeless tobacco and spitting in public places.
For more information : Shrikanth G (Tata Trusts) 9513277555
Dr. Somil Rastogi – 9977003119