A claim that the coronavirus doesn't infect vegetarians as it needs animal fat in the human body to survive is false being attributed to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and shared on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp. The viral message on social media claims that "not a single vegetarian person has contracted coronavirus in the entire world, says the WHO report. Amazing Sanatan culture".
A similar claim was also made in English. "No vegetarian is affected by CORONA. Corona requires animal fat in body - WHO." Then there was a statement allegedly from WHO Representative Gouden Galeo. "As long as people eat meat, there is going to be some risk."
When IBTimes fact-checking team came across this claim, they swung into action and started digging the viral message. The message that is viral on WhatsApp and Twitter was first shared on Facebook by a user named Jagdish Sharma in a page named "We Support Narendra Modi." You can check the archived Facebook post here.
WHO recommended animal protein in its dietary advice
According to the WHO, there is no evidence to support the claim that coronavirus doesn't affect people with any particular diet or for that matter vegetarians. Neither the World Health Organisation ever claimed that the virus doesn't affect vegetarians and that it needs animal fat to survive. In fact, the WHO has recommended including animal protein in its dietary advice issued in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. So the viral claim turned out to be a clear case of fake news.
We at IBTimes have debunked several fake news and busted many such claims. Be it any information related to the coronavirus pandemic or other regular issues, we believe in exposing the fake news. In this mission, we have fact-checked several fake news which you can read here.