Take precautions before consuming dates: Dr Naveed

Take precautions before consuming dates: Dr Naveed

 “Wash, dry them for few days before you eat”

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Apr 23: Doctors have advised people to take all precautious before consuming dates at Iftaar time in the holy month of Ramadan.

“Dates are particularly beneficial during Ramadan because they are high in sugar and vitamins such as potassium and magnesium as well as an excellent source of fiber and carbohydrates. But yes, we advise people to take all precautions while consuming the dates,” Kashmir’s leading pulmonologist and head of Chest Diseases Hospital, Srinagar, Dr Naveed Nazir Shah told news agency KINS.

However Dr Naveed advised people to properly wash and then dry the dates before eating them. “You can buy the open dates from local markets, but before consuming them, all you need is to ensure that you wash and leave them for at least three days before eating,” he said.

Dates are also known to help with digestion and can prevent an upset stomach when eating large amounts of food after a long period without eating.

Meanwhile one of the senior doctors, expert in infectious disease here in SKIMS said that there is no published evidence, and we are not aware of unpublished evidence that people have developed COVID-19 illness from touching food or food packaging. “However, the virus causing COVID-19 can survive on surfaces and objects for a limited period of time. So, it is better to throw the packing of dates as soon as you bring them home, as the wrapper may have the virus on it,” the doctor said.  He also suggested that dates should be washed and left to dry properly.

The doctor said that the available evidence suggests that the virus can remain on hard surfaces for 3 days and 1 day on soft surfaces.

While the proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is known all over the world,  the saying for Muslims go like “seven dates a day keeps the doctor away. There are different types of dates, the best and most precious one is the round-shaped, curled, black “Ajwa” which are grown in Holy City of Madina.

From April 24 to May 24, Muslims will be observing Ramadan. This is the first Ramadan where people won’t be able to gather.