Rajasthan government has banned photography during distribution of food packets and ration among the needy in the state. The state-wide ban was announced after Ajmer's Collector banned photography in the district.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said food and ration distribution among the poor should be taken as a service and should not be made a medium of publicity and competition.
"Poor and destitute people, who have become completely dependent on the government, have the first right on ration and cooked food packets. Photography during food and ration distribution has been banned in the state. This should not be made a medium of publicity."
Earlier, the Ajmer district Collector said, "In order to ensure that the norm of social distancing is adhered to, clicking of selfies and photographs while distributing food items to the people is to be banned in the Ajmer district. Any violation of social distancing norms may result in action under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code."
The State government also banned the spitting of paan, chewed tobacco and other products in public places. An order by the state's health department stated that a penal action will be taken against anyone who violates the rule. The order further read, "It is commonly seen that people usually spit in public places after chewing pan, tobacco and other products, which may cause the spread of COVID-19. Hence, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this needs to be stopped." According to reports, this measure has been put in place under Section 2 of the Rajasthan Epidemic Diseases Act, 1957.
The number of coronavirus cases in the state rose to 561 as 98 fresh cases were reported in the state on Friday while the fatality count due to the disease increased to eight with the death of a 65-year-old woman at a hospital here, officials said.
The state has also announced a lockdown extension till April 30 in order to prevent the spread of the virus. India is reportedly in the final stage of the three-week lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi effective from March 25.