Haryana health minister seeks to link coronavirus to non-veg diet, says ‘be vegetarian’

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March 14, 2020 6:13 PM

With rumours doing the rounds that coronavirus spreads through non-vegetarian food like eggs, chicken, mutton and seafood, Union Fisheries, Dairying and Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh had, a few days back, asked people not to pay attention to them.

Haryana health minister, Anil Vij, non-vegetarian diet, coronavirus, Giriraj Singh, FSSAI, M Venkaiah Naidu, Union health ministryIn India, the Union health ministry said the number of coronavirus positive cases has risen to 84. (IE photo)

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Saturday sought to link various viral outbreaks, including novel coronavirus, to non-vegetarian diet and advised people to be vegetarian. “Shakahari bano tarah-tarah kay jeev jantu khakar corona jaise virus paidakar manav jaati k liye khatra paida na karo (Be vegetarian. Do not create viruses like coronavirus that poses danger to humanity by having (meat of) different kinds of animals,” the minister, who himself is a vegetarian, tweeted on Saturday.

With rumours doing the rounds that coronavirus spreads through non-vegetarian food like eggs, chicken, mutton and seafood, Union Fisheries, Dairying and Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh had, a few days back, asked people not to pay attention to them. He had said that even the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as well as the Indian food safety regulator FSSAI have said there was no scientific evidence to prove transmission of coronavirus from animals to humans.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu too had on Friday asked the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to issue an advisory to allay the concerns of people on consumption of chicken and eggs in the wake of fears about the impact of coronavirus on the poultry industry.

The virus, which has so far infected 1,31,500 people in 116 countries and territories and killed more than 4,900, is believed to have originated in a market in the central city of Wuhan, where a range of wildlife was reportedly sold.

In India, the Union health ministry said the number of coronavirus positive cases has risen to 84. The Haryana government has already declared coronavirus an epidemic. Vij had on Friday ordered a ban on public rallies, big religious gatherings and sporting events to contain the spread of the infection. The state government has also ordered closure of all universities and colleges till March 31.

The Department of School Education in Haryana has decided that all government and private schools in five districts — Gurgaon, Sonepat, Rohtak, Jhajjar and Faridabad will remain closed till March 31. However, school students in these five districts will take their exams as per schedule.

Over 270 isolation wards with 1,206 beds have been set up in government and private hospitals in the state to deal with any contingency. The PGIMS Hospital in Rohtak has been designated as the tertiary care centre for treatment of critical patients.

The state government has also issued various regulations under the Haryana Epidemic Disease, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, to contain the spread of the disease. These regulations will remain valid for a period of one year.

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