The Haryana food and drug administration (FDA) banned the sale and use of chewing and bubble gum in the state till June 30, on the suspicion that their use and disposal may lead to the transmission of Covid-19.
As per the order, issued by the FDA Haryana’s commissioner Ashok Kumar Meena, as the coronavirus disease is transmitted through droplets, there is a possibility that chewing gum could carry and spread the virus.
The decision under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Amandeep Chauhan, an officer in the district’s food and drugs control department, said, “It is a precautionary step to avoid transmission of coronavirus by a symptomatic patient through any of these items. People have the habit of spitting in front of others, which has to be avoided. To keep the situation under control at least for some time the prohibition has been imposed.”
Likewise, the department has also been asked to implement the ban on gutka (chewing tobacco) and pan masala for a year.
The state government in 2019, had imposed a ban on the sale and distribution of tobacco products. In the wake of Covid-19, the department has been directed to check the sale and distribution of scented or flavoured tobacco, gutkha, pan masala, and kharra (a powdered combination of tobacco, areca nut, lime (chuna) and katechu). “We will inspect shops and keep a check on the market to prevent the sale of any of these items for at least three months,” Chauhan said.