Mumbai, May 30: In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the worst hit state, the Maharashtra government on Saturday made spitting, smoking and consumption of tobacco products in public space punishable in the state.

The health minister Rajesh Tope interacted through Facebook Live to inform about the various measures taken for corona prevention saying spitting in public places spreads many infectious and deadly diseases hence it has been made punishable offence in the state. Now that an epidemic situation like corona has been found to be transmitted, decision has been taken for public interest. Maharashtra Reports 2,940 Coronavirus Cases, 99 Deaths in Past 24 Hours; State COVID-19 Tally Rises to 65,168, Fatality Toll Reaches 2,197.

"An important decision has been taken to ban the consumption, spitting and smoking of tobacco, and other tobacco products in public places in the state as per the provisions of the Infectious Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act. The orders in the ruling will be applicable everywhere in the state," the health minister said.

According to the Mumbai Police Act, a person who spits or smokes in a public place will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 for the first time offend and will have to perform one day of public service.

The second time offender is liable to pay a fine of Rs 3,000 and three days of public service and a fine of Rs 5,000 for the third and subsequent offenses and five days of public service. According to the Indian Penal Code, the punishment under various sections is six months, two years of imprisonment and a fine or both.

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