The virus COVID-19 is transmitted through the consumption of meat.
On March 13, 2020, a Facebook group called “I Support Indian Army” posted that WHO stated that no vegetarians have died from COVID-19. The post was reacted to 2.5 thousand times, with 640 shares. The next day on March 14, 2020, a Twitter post by Sweta Singh made a similar claim. The account has over 34,000 followers, and the tweet was reacted to 2.5 thousand times and shared nearly 500 times.
News sites including the Indian Express and USA Today have published on the topic.
But what is the truth?
The idea that COVID-19 is linked to meat-eating likely stems from the hypothesis that it came from the consumption of a bat sold at an animal market in Wuhan. However, immunologists believe it stems from the interaction of different species, not solely from the consumption of meat. Some researchers now postulate it may have been a laboratory construct, although there is not enough evidence to support this hypothesis. All available evidence shows COVID-19 has a zoonotic source.
However, while COVID-19 likely has a zoonotic source, WHO has not published a report linking COVID-19 transmission to meat-eating or implying that vegetarians are safe from the infection. On March 17, 2020, Dr. Randeep Guleria said that COVID-10 spreads from person-to-person contact and has nothing to do with the consumption of non-vegetarian food.
Some social media posts have blamed the spread of the virus on the Muslim minority community because they tend to be non-vegetarian. Therefore it is imperative to debunk the myth that the transmission of COVID-19 is linked to meat-eating.