Are vegans immune to COVID-19 ? There is no proof at the moment, says prominent health expert and president of the Public Health Foundation of India, Professor K Srinath Reddy.
Even vegetarians have been affected because this is a virus which travels through droplet infection and enters the body, he said.
However, people who are taking a lot of fruits and vegetables as part of their natural diet have better innate immunity, and they may be able to fight the infection much better, said Reddy, who formerly headed the Department of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
It is always better for vegetarians or non-vegetarians to have a lot of fresh fruit and vegetable to the extent we can to boost our innate immunity to provide better defence against the virus, he told PTI.
Reddy, who has been involved in several major international and national research studies, having been trained in cardiology and epidemiology, said facial protection to also cover eyes, not just mouth and nose, is most important.
"What happens is that this virus mainly enters through the face which means the nose, mouth or eyes. We don't usually talk about eyes.
When the droplets drop on the face, it can also enter (the body) through the eye because eyes are also connected to the nose. The virus can enter the eyes and then also go to the nose," he said.
One has to be careful about the protection of the eyes also, said Reddy, who presently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard and is also an Adjunct Professor of the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University and Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney.
If you are wearing spectacles, it is fine, otherwise, what people are suggesting now is face sheets (plastic sheets) covering the entire face so that nothing falls on the eyes also.
So, these are the additional precautions we have to get used to, he added.
Reddy also stressed the need to continue to take precautions such as having a good diet and trying to keep away from polluted or smoky areas, which automatically reduce resistance in the lungs.