The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) appealed to the people on Saturday not to consume and spit smokeless tobacco in public places.
The top health research body said chewing smokeless tobacco products (gutka, pan masala with tobacco, pan and other chewing tobacco products) and areca nut (supari) increases the production of saliva, followed by a very strong urge to spit.
"Spitting in public places could enhance the spread of the COVID19 virus," the ICMR said. "In view of the increasing danger of COVID-19 pandemic, it is an appeal to the general public to refrain from consuming the smokeless tobacco products and spitting in public places during the COVID epidemic."
The total cases of the novel coronavirus pandemic climbed to 3,072 in the country on Saturday after a record jump in infections in the past 24 hours, while 13 new fatalities took the death toll to 75, the Union Health Ministry said.