New Delhi: On Thursday (May 28), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHF&W) shared a rap video to advocate no spitting on its official website. Through the video, the union health ministry requested people to not spit in public as the Novel Coronavirus which has already taken over 5,000 lives in India can spread through saliva. The 1 minute and 25 seconds long rap song has a catchy chorus that depicts the aim of the song and goes by ‘Thoda to socho, corona roko, yahi hai motto, open me koi thooke nahi’. The chorus roughly translates to ‘Think a bit and stop Coronavirus. The only motive is that no one spits in the public’.
The rap song explains how spitting of tobacco in public places can lead to the spread of Coronavirus and impact society at large. The song emphasis that the ill habit can invite the god of death and therefore one should think from the mind and not take someone’s life knowingly or unknowingly.
The song is an appeal to people to not spit in public places and save lives. It’s a call to come together and stop the spread of Coronavirus.
Time and again, MoHF&W and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the nodal body for the fight against COVID-19, have addressed the health hazards of spitting in public. Earlier in April, ICMR had said,
Spitting in public places could enhance the spread of the COVID19 virus. In view of the increasing danger 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, as quoted by the news agency PTI.
Talking about the need to discourage the habit of spitting in public places, Basanta Kumar Kar, Recipient of Global Nutrition Leadership and Transform Nutrition Champion Award said,
Stop-spitting Movement is the need of the hour. This sickening habit can make people’s life infectious. Saliva carries live germs for more than 24 hours and can cause every respiratory disease including COVID-19 especially because it is caused by respiratory droplets and transmission may occur when these droplets enter the mouths, noses, or eyes of people who are nearby. Also, the spit does not just contain saliva but sometimes it also has mucus which is a habitat of many kinds of germs.
Habits don’t go easily and that’s the reason Dr Meenakshi Jain, Associate Director, Internal Medicine, Max Healthcare, Patparganj and Noida, recommends practising spitting etiquettes. She said,
If spitting seems unavoidable when in public places, do it discreetly and with caution. Consider carrying tissues for spit and mucus and dispose it of promptly after the use. Avoid going out if you have cold symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, or sneezing.
Because of spitting being a health hazard, lately, a lot of states have banned spitting in public and imposed a fine on the same.