Coronavirus: UP bans manufacture, sale of pan masala

Uttar Pradesh government bans manufacture, sale of pan masala to fight coronavirus spread

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Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday banned sale and manufacture of 'gutkha' and 'pan masala' in the state in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

The additional chief home secretary of the state, Avaneesh Awasthi, told reporters here that directives had been issued banning the sale, storage and manufacture of gutkha and pan masala in the state.

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He said that the people, who consumed these things, often spat on the road or other places, including offices and homes, which increased the risk of spread of the coronavirus.

''It poses a huge risk at a time when the coronavirus has become pandemic....we will also have to think about banning permanently as even in the normal times it poses a risk,'' he added.

'Gutkha' and 'pan masala' were manufactured mainly at Kanpur and Noida and they were consumed in large quantities in the state. Even the youngsters are seen chewing 'gutkha'.

"Manufacturing, sale and storage of pan masala is being banned in the state till further orders," Food Security Commissioner Ministhy S said in an order issued here.

Spitting pan masala can help in spreading COVID-19," the order said.

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

The state had banned "gutkha" on April 1, 2013, she said.

Those violating the orders will be dealt with strictly according to the law, the order said. 

The UP government had earlier banned the sale of gutkha and pan masala to minors.

So far 38 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the state. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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