In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc in Maharashtra, the Health Department has now banned the sale of loose cigarettes and bidis in the state.
An order in this regard has been issued by the health department and senior officials have expressed that the police and the municipal corporations should implement this order immediately and strictly, reported Marathi daily Loksatta.
The report quoted a senior health official saying that the department had approached the previous governments, including the law and order department, from time to time to prevent the sale of loose cigarettes and bidis. However, due to insufficient support from the law department, the Health Department could not issue an order in this regard.
According to Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (Regulation of Advertising, Prohibition and Trade, Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution), it is mandatory to clearly state that cigarettes and bidis are hazardous to health in 85 per cent area of the packet. However, due to selling loose cigarettes and bidis, the consumer does not understand the seriousness of the health hazard. Now, the Department of Law and Justice has taken the Health Department's views into consideration amid the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally rose to 13,00,757 on Friday with the single-day addition of 17,794 cases, the state health department said. Due to the death of 416 patients during the day, the fatality count in the state mounted to 34,761, it said.
A total of 19,592 patients were discharged on Friday after treatment, which took the number of recoveries in the state to 9,92,806. There are 2,72,775 active cases in Maharashtra at present, the department said.
A total of 19,29,572 people are currently under home quarantine in the state, while 32,747 others are placed in institutional quarantine, he added. The state has so far conducted 62,80,788 tests.
Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally is as follows: Positive cases: 13,00,757, new cases: 17,794, death toll: 34,761 discharged: 9,92,806, active cases: 2,72,775, people tested so far: 62,80,788.
(With PTI inputs)