The novel coronavirus scare has reduced the consumption of chicken in Maharashtra, with the poultry sector in the state recording over Rs 100 crore loss in the last fortnight, officials said on Thursday. The state Animal Husbandry Department attributed the loss to the rumours doing rounds on social media that coronavirus can spread through chicken.
“The poultry sector in Maharashtra has recorded a loss of over Rs 100 crore in the last 15 days due to the rumours and false news spread on social media,” an official of the department told reporters.
“The daily average sale of chicken earlier was around 3,500 metric tonnes. However, after the outbreak of coronavirus, the sale came down to 2,000 metric tonnes,” he said. “After the animal husbandry and other departments started spreading awareness, the daily sale of chicken has now gone up to 2,500 metric tonnes,” he said.
S P Singh, Commissioner of Animal Husbandry, said the department has registered a complaint with the cyber cell of Pune police against some videos shared on the internet, which is spreading rumours linking coronavirus to chicken, and sought action against the rumour mongers.
“After the outbreak of coronavirus is China, some unscientific claims and rumours are being spread on the social media linking coronavirus to chicken,” he said.
“However, the fact is that novel coronavirus is transmitted from one person to another and there is no scientific base to the claim that coronavirus in chicken is transmitted to humans,” Singh added.