Multiple Facebook and Twitter posts shared hundreds of times claim the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that no vegetarian has contracted the novel coronavirus. The claim is false; the WHO denied issuing the report; as of May 2020, health experts have said there is no scientific evidence to suggest that a vegetarian diet prevents infection from COVID-19.
The claim was made in a text graphic published on Facebook here on March 14, 2020.
The Hindi text translates to English as: "Not a single vegetarian has contracted coronavirus in the entire world: WHO Report. Amazing Sanatana Dharma. Hail Hindutva."
Below is a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post:
Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post
The terms "Sanatana Dharma" and "Hindutva" both refer to aspects of Hinduism, which promotes a vegetarian diet.
However, the claim is false.
"The WHO has not made such a statement," Supriya Bezbaruah, the WHO's India representative, told AFP via WhatsApp on May 2, 2020.
Dr R.V. Asokan, the secretary-general of the Indian Medical Association, also refuted the claim about vegetarians being protected against COVID-19.
"There is absolutely no truth in this claim. There is no medical evidence that non-vegetarian food is in any way related to COVID death susceptibility," he told AFP by phone on May 5, 2020.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak first emerged in early 2020, health experts have stressed that people should maintain a healthy diet to avoid a weakened immune system due to poor nutrition.
Updated On: 2020-05-08T13:08:27+05:30
Claim Review : No vegetarian has contracted COVID-19.
Claimed By : Facebook, Twitter
Fact Check : False