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Saturday Feb 01 2020
Web Desk

Punjab govt debunks fake news about presence of coronavirus in goat meat

Web Desk
An official of Pakistan-based Chinese company (R) uses a thermo gun to check the temperature of the company's drivers. Photo: AFP

MULTAN: The livestock department on Friday rejected rumors circulating on social media about the presence of the deadly coronavirus in goat meat across the country, reported The News

Livestock Deputy Director for Multan Mujib-ur-Rehman told the publication that the news of contraction of the coronavirus in livestock, especially in the goat meat, was utterly false. 

Also read: Q&A: Evacuations from China’s coronavirus-hit Wuhan

"There has been viral misinformation regarding the subject on social media. It is fake and incorrect," he said, clarifying that mutton or beef consumption was completely safe.

"The viral post on social media regarding health advisory on meat consumption by the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) due to Corona epidemic in livestock is incorrect and fake," he added. 

Also read: Coronavirus: Pakistani physician advises people not to panic

According to the director, the Pakistan Food Authority had also denied issuing such an advisory. Medical experts have come forward in the wake of the global outbreak of coronavirus to urge people to stay calm. 

On Friday, infectious diseases specialist, Asma Nasim, said that people should not fear the new coronavirus, assuring that it was no different from other flu viruses. 

Also read: Pakistani student quarantined in Karachi hospital upon arrival from coronavirus-hit Wuhan

News agency AFP also issued a fact-check regarding the spread of the virus through goat meat. The misinformation spread when a fake mage was published in a post on Facebook on January 28, 2020. 

It showed a photo of a goat and bore the logo of the Punjab Food Authority in a banner across the bottom. The post had been shared more than 893 times before it was removed. 

Also read: Coronavirus detection kits from Japan to arrive in Pakistan today

The Urdu-language text in the image translated to English as: “Very urgent message. In Pakistan too, coronavirus alert has been issued. For the next 60 days try your utmost to not eat goat meat."

"In Pakistan signs of this virus have started appearing in goats. Share this message as much as you can so that the life of your own people could be saved," the post added. 

Also read: US announces 14-day quarantine for citizens evacuated from China

A new strain of coronavirus, believed to have originated from a wildlife market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed at least 213 people in China and infected almost ten thousand others. 

Doctors have identified cases in at least a dozen other countries, as reported by AFP, but Pakistan is not among those with a confirmed case, the news agency confirmed. 

Originally published in The News