Kannada news channel BTV news had put out a news bulletin on March 10 stating that the CM had banned the sale of meat.

No Karnataka isnt banning the sale of meat due to coronavirus
news Coronavirus Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 16:50

In the midst of government measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in Karnataka, including closing schools for classes 1 to 5, BTV news had reported on March 10 that the sale of any meat was being banned by the government. However, this is not true.

Sources close to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa  told TNM no such statement has been made. Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu, during his press conferences, has also not made any announcements regarding this either. No other channel or news agency have made this report.

According to the BTV report, the anchor said, “Coronavirus has created an emergency. The government is not ready to neglect even small things in preparation for the virus. ‘Corona shock’ has now affected the meat industry. The Chief Minister has given a notice to markets and shops which sell chicken and mutton to be closed. The notice has been given through the Commissioner by the Chief Minister, saying ‘Please don’t sell meat under any circumstances.’ Now, the notice has put the brakes on the sale of meat in Bengaluru, and shut all shops from today itself,” the anchor added.

The Karnataka government has not given out any such notice to the media.

The bulletin also said that coronavirus is being spread by insects. “Mosquitoes and flies sit on the blood of slaughtered chickens, sheep and goats, and the risk of infections spreading goes up,” the bulletin said. This is also false information. Though the public fears that consumption of chicken will somehow cause coronavirus, resulting in reduced sales, it has been established that the virus does not spread through meat consumption.

World Health Organisation, in their frequently asked questions section, has said that the COVID-19 virus spreads through respiratory droplets from an infected person, such as when they are coughing or sneezing. Multiple advisories urge people to wash their hands frequently and not to touch their faces. The virus does not spread through vectors, and research suggests that the virus does not spread through the air either. It is only through close contact with an infected person.

“This notice will bring some other shocks, but it’s OK because people’s health is more important. If this coronavirus spreads, it’s very difficult to fight it. So, in preparation, whatever measures can prevent the spread of infections, the necessary action is being taken,” the bulletin concluded. The video of this news bulletin has been downloaded and shared widely on social media, spreading alarm amongst people, and prompting them to castigate the government for its over-reach.

The Karnataka government has said that those spreading fake news regarding coronavirus would be liable for prosecution. When Public TV claimed that Health Minister B Sriramulu said cow dung and cow urine could cure coronavirus, he tweeted saying that he would take action against them.

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