Updated: March 17, 2020 1:45:23 pm
Yes, it is absolutely safe. No link has been found between the consumption of the cooked meat of any animal or bird, and catching the infection.
The only way the SARS-CoV-2 virus is currently spreading is through droplets released by an infected individual in coughs or sneezes, or if you touch your face, mouth, or nose after touching an infected surface.
This is why governments and experts around the world are telling people to avoid crowded places, to practise social distancing, to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water, and to try, to the extent possible, to not touch your face.
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Many Indians have stopped eating chicken, believing rumours and misinformation on social media. This has led to a crash in prices, and massive losses for the poultry industry. Minister for Fisheries and Animal Husbandry Giriraj Singh has underlined that meat and dairy are safe. “The false rumour has hit thousands of farmers engaged in this business. The livelihood of farmers and the people engaged in the entire value chain have been affected. I humbly request people not to fall prey to such rumours,” he has said.
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The WHO does, however, caution against eating “raw or undercooked animal products”. It says: “…National food safety authorities are seeking more information on the potential for persistence of SARS-CoV-2… on foods traded internationally as well as the potential role of food in the transmission of the virus… As a general rule, the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, raw milk or raw animal organs should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods.”
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