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Fact Check: WHO didn’t release report claiming vegetarians haven’t contracted coronavirus

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: April 21, 2020

A viral post on social media claims that as per a report by
World Health Organization (WHO), not a single vegetarian has contracted coronavirus in the world. Vishvas News investigated and found that WHO has not released any such statement. The viral post is fake.

Claim

A post doing rounds on social media translated in English reads: Not a single vegetarian has contracted coronavirus in the entire world. The post is attributed to World Health Organization (WHO). The archived version of the post can be checked here.

Investigation

Vishvas News investigated by searching reports on whether World Health Organization (WHO) has released any such report stating that not a single vegetarian has contracted coronavirus in the entire world. No report by the WHO mentions any such claim.

We spoke to the India representative of WHO. She said: “This is a fake news. WHO has not shared any such report.”

As per WHO, “While the zoonotic source of the virus is currently unknown, the following general recommendations for reducing the risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens in live animal markets apply:

– Anyone visiting live animal markets, wet markets, or animal product markets should practice general hygiene measures, including regular hand washing with soap and water after touching animals and animal products, avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands, and avoiding contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Any contact with other animals possibly living in the market (e.g. stray cats and dogs, rodents, birds, bats) should be avoided. Attention should also be taken to avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities.

– The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk, or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.”

The official health portal of the Government of Tripura has also debunked a similar claim. They stated that avoiding eating meat, poultry, fish, and eggs to prevent coronavirus is a myth.

Vishvas News spoke to doctors who are treating or have treated COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Nikhil Modi, a pulmonologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi stated that: “it will be wrong to say that COVID positive patients are non-vegetarians and that vegetarians can not contract coronavirus. Vegetarians get COVID-19 positive too. Veg and non-veg is not a criterion. As of now, there is no advisory that prevents you from eating any non-vegetarian food.”

We also spoke to Dr. Sajeev Kumar who is a General Physician based out of Kerala. He said: “This is not true that coronavirus cannot be contracted by vegetarians. Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that can spread primarily through contact with an infected person. The fact that meat-eaters and non-vegetarians are being held responsible for spreading Coronavirus is a complete myth which is scientifically baseless.”

We performed the social scanning of the page which shared the viral post. The page named हिंदुस्तानी हिन्दू has 161,986 followers till date.

Disclaimer: The #CoronavirusFacts database records fact-checks published since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic and its consequences are constantly evolving and data that was accurate weeks or even days ago might have changed. Remember to check the date when the fact-check you are reading was published before sharing it.

Conclusion: World Health Organization (WHO) hasn’t release report claiming vegetarians haven’t contracted coronavirus. The viral post is fake.

  • Claim Review : WHO releases report claiming vegetarians haven't contracted coronavirus
  • Claimed By : FB Page: हिंदुस्तानी हिन्दू
  • Fact Check : False
False
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