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It’s time for tougher action against spitting in public

Spitting in public can attract a fine of S$1,000 for first-time offenders, under the Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations.

It’s time for tougher action against spitting in public

A TODAY reader says that people are still conveniently spitting in public, with no regard for the health risks associated with Covid-19. 

Francis Cheng Choon Fei

Spitting in public can attract a fine of S$1,000 for first-time offenders, under the Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations.

As a deterrent, the Government should increase this to S$2,000, and double the fine for subsequent offences.  

I find it disgusting to see people still conveniently spitting in public places and not bothering about the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Officers from the National Environment Agency (NEA) who enforce infection controls at popular wet markets and hawker centres should look out for these spitters and redouble their enforcement efforts to bring these culprits to book.   

The officers should also prowl popular open public spaces to catch spitters, while the National Parks Board (NParks) should do likewise in public parks.

These are the public places where people like to spit.  

This is all the more critical at this time of highly infectious coronavirus variants.   

In 2003, during the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), the authorities took firm and decisive action against people who spat in public because spitting was not only a hygiene problem but a public health issue, especially during an epidemiological crisis. 

In May that year, 11 men were hauled to court, fined and shamed by having their photos published for spitting in public.  

Why are we not doing this with greater intensity, given that the present pandemic is even more severe and protracted than Sars?

It’s time for enforcement officers from NEA and NParks, as well as neighbourhood police officers on patrol, to get tougher on this unhygienic nuisance.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

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