- Fighting COVID-19: Odisha’s Ganjam district bans spitting in public places
- In Odisha’s Ganjam, spitting in public places will invite a fine of Rs. 500
- Not wearing a mask in public places will invite a fine of Rs. 200
New Delhi: The COVID-19 which has been characterised as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) can spread from a person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. Considering this, Odisha’s Ganjam district has banned spitting in public places to maintain hygiene and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. In its order regarding additional guidelines for ensuring social distancing in the district, it’s clearly stated that spitting in public places will invite a fine of Rs. 500.
— Collector & District Magistrate, Ganjam (@Ganjam_Admin) April 14, 2020
Talking to NDTV about the updated guidelines (as of April 14) and how the district plans to enforce it, Vijay Amruta Kulange, Collector and District Magistrate, Ganjam District, said,
We all know that the novel coronavirus can enter our body either through nose or mouth or both. And spitting in public places increases the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. We have a team in both rural and urban areas that will ensure everyone follows the rule and in case of violation, the team will identify and impose fine. Our idea is not to collect fine but to create awareness among people and this new rule is one of the tools of awareness.
Till the lockdown period, the district administration has also banned the sale of tobacco, chewing gum and other food items that promote spitting.
To ensure strict social distancing in public places, grocery shops, vegetable and fruits shops and meat shops the district administration has issued a list of guidelines. All shops have been asked to put up a poster stating ‘no mask, no grocery/medicines/vegetables/fruits’; all vendors are to maintain a distance of minimum 10 meters; to promote social distancing, all shopkeepers and vendors are to have circles or boxes on the ground, outside their shop, with a minimum distance of 1 meter.
— Collector & District Magistrate, Ganjam (@Ganjam_Admin) April 13, 2020
The citizens are not allowed to walk in groups of two or more people. Also, as per the guidelines of the state government, it is compulsory to cover one’s nose and mouth with either a homemade mask, or handkerchief, or any other cloth. The violators will be penalised with a fine of Rs. 200.
Further talking about making wearing of face mask compulsory, Mr Kulange said,
Even before the state mandated the use of mask, on April 5 we issued an order on face masks and it was stated that while violation in urban areas will invite a fine of Rs. 1,000, in rural areas a fine of Rs. 500 will be levied. The order was soon adopted by almost everyone and we believe that just like residents adapted to wearing a mask, they will stop spitting in public places as well.
As of April 15, 217 individuals have been fined for not wearing a mask. The district has not reported even a single positive case of COVID-19. 606 suspects of COVID-19 have been tested. While 5,413 individuals are in domestic home quarantine, 389 are under institutional quarantine.