Coronavirus has been declared a global epidemic, with the disease spreading to more than sixty countries across the world. Several cases of Coronavirus reported in India too resulting in widespread panic across the country. Apart from maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness at all times, the most common enquiry was whether or not non-vegetarians should consume meat during the times when coronavirus is rapidly spreading. Twitter also saw the trends like "Stop Eating Meat" and "No Meat No Coronavirus" rising once such queries started doing the rounds.
Doctors say that meat need not be entirely cut out of the diet, but consumption of raw meat should definitely be avoided. Dr. Anant Mohan from the Pulmonary Medicine Department at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, said to NDTV, "The rumour has emerged because most of those infected in Wuhan had some contact with one of the sea food markets in that place. There is no conclusive evidence as far as meat or diet is concerned. But, as a precaution and especially in India, it is a good idea, generally also, to avoid raw meat. It is better to have cooked meat. As of now, there is no advisory that prevents you from eating any non-vegetarian food. But it should always be a well-cooked food. That should be safe enough."
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Both WHO and Government of India have released a series of tweets about general queries relating to Coronavirus to curb unwarranted pandemonium. The fact that meat-eaters and non-vegetarians are being held responsible for spreading Coronavirus is a complete myth which is scientifically baseless. Cooked meat poses no risk to anyone, and doctors have reiterated that several times to avoid spreading rumours that suggest the contrary.
Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Coach, Shilpa Arora ND, also agrees, "Raw meats such as rawfish such as that found in sushi and sashimi should definitely be avoided considering that it is an airborne disease and we are not sure if the birds or animals are exposed to an effected environment. But there is no harm whatsoever in consuming cooked meat. People suggesting avoiding meat entirely should know that there is no evidence of the same."
At the end of the day, the fact remains that coronavirus is simply a respiratory virus that can spread primarily through contact with an infected person. As a preventive measure, it is okay to avoid consuming raw meat but to obliterate meat entirely from the diet would be unnecessary.
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.