The fish business in Prayagraj, Lucknow and Kanpur have been severely hit after Covid bodies were found floating in rivers last month.
“We resumed business two days ago when the Corona curfew was lifted but people are just not coming forward to buy fish. Even our regular customers have stopped buying fish. When we made inquiries, they said that they were wary of eating fish that may have been infected due to the bodies floating in the rivers,” said Prashant Kumar, a fish seller in the Narhi market in Lucknow.
Rabindra Ghosh, a retired government employee in Prayagraj and a regular fish consumer, admitted that he had not purchased fish since the past one and a half months when bodies were found floating in the water.
“My wife and I have decided not to eat fish for the next few months. The water must have been infected with so many Covid bodies and the fish naturally would be infected too. Though fish is our staple diet, we have decided not to take any risk,” he said.
An official in the state fisheries department, meanwhile, said, “Some varieties of fish nibble into dead animals that are thrown into rivers. They do not differentiate between an animal carcass and a human corpse. The scare is not totally unfounded though medical experts can say whether or not eating fish if a health hazard in these times.”
S.K. Mitra, a private practitioner in Kanpur, said that there had been no research on whether the virus could be transmitted into fish that prey on carcasses and corpses.
Until research is done on this issue, it is safer not to eat fish that are brought from rivers where bodies were dumped. We have not eaten fish for the past two months as a precautionary measure,” he said.