Hyderabad: The false news that the coronavirus disease Covid-19 is caused by eating chicken, has hit the chicken markets of the city.
Social media is full of these false rumours and retail traders have seen the price of poultry tumbling.
Mr Md. Iqbal who manages an outlet of Tawakkl Wholesale and Retail Centre at Nampally, said, “Chicken which was close to Rs 200 has now dropped to Rs 45 in the wholesale market and Rs 60 in retail outlets.”
He said that before the false news was spread on social media normal retail sales were around 700 to 800 kg of chicken per day, and on Sundays close to 1,500 kg. Mr Md Saleem, owner of Afzal Chicken Centre at King Koti, said there is a drop of 20 per cent in sales. As the price is attractive, people who are aware of the truth are buying chicken without any hesitation.
Mr Chakradhar Rao, president of the Indian Poultry Equipment Manufacturers Association, said, “As this is a perishable good, farmers have no option but to sell at half its production cost. The farmer will suffer great losses.”
He said baseless studies are being quoted to put in the heads non-vegetarians that eating poultry will cause some damage. Such rumours spoil the market.
“There is no connection between chicken and coronavirus, but still, rumours killed the market.”He said chicken and eggs are the most easily digestible protein, which is available at the lowest price.
Mutton sales have gone up, said Mr Md Wasim who owns a number of mutton shops. He said goat and sheep meat is in high demand because of the chicken scare.
“Chicken is not a carrier of coronavirus, and the virus cannot sustain in higher temperatures. Anyway it’s always better to cook any meat well as it will kill any bacteria,” said Dr Sanjeev Singh Yadav, secretary, Indian Medical Association, Telangana state....