Relation of spice consumption with COVID-19 first wave statistics (infection, recovery and mortality) across India
Keywords:SARS-CoV-2, Indian cuisine, Turmeric, Ginger, First Wave, Spices
Background & Objectives: The recovery and mortality statistics for COVID-19 first wave considerably differed in different states & Union territories (UT) of India. Spices are an essential part of Indian cuisine. Apart from adding flavors and colors to the food, their importance is traditionally known in disease prevention and cure. Thus, present study was carried out to assess relation of spice consumption with COVID-19 first wave statistics in India. Methods: The spice consumption data of ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, chili, tamarind and ‘other spices’ were retrieved from ‘Household Consumption of Various Goods and Services in India’ from 68th round (2011-12) of survey conducted by National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO). The first wave data for individual states and UTs were retrieved as total number of cases, number of cured/discharged/migrated cases and total number of deaths, in a cumulative normalized form. The correlation of these was analyzed. Results and Conclusions: Spices were consumed across India with a varied range. The highest consumed spice was ginger. The highest consumption of ‘Other spices’ were observed in Lakshadweep (149 gm/30 days), which incidentally reported zero cases. Tamarind had positive correlation (r = 0.4724) with total number of cases and recovered/migrated/cured cases (r = 0.4948). Cumin consumption exhibited weak positive correlation (r = 0.5011) with total deaths per million population. However, most of these correlations were statistically insignificant. These findings can help to predict preventive/ mitigating or curative usage of these spices. The unspecified and under-explored ‘Other spices’ category showed promising correlation.
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