The Bihar Health Department has issued orders prohibiting spitting in public places in view of infections, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage around the country, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. Under the Indian Penal Code, a violation of these orders would be punishable with a fine of Rs 200 or six months in jail.

The ban has been invoked under provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

“Spitting after use of tobacco, gutkha, paan masala, bidi and cigarette is completely banned in the state at public places such as lanes, roads, government and non-government buildings, police station premises and all health and educational institutions,” the order by Bihar Principal Secretary (Health) Sanjay Kumar said. “There is threat of spread of several serious diseases such as Covid-19, encephalitis and tuberculosis.”

Bihar has so far recorded 65 cases of the coronavirus, including one death and 26 recoveries, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Countrywide, 10,363 cases have been reported, and 339 people have died.

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