A fruitful recovery

Business City Covid-19

Given the high demand for fruits in the diet of recovering COVID-19 patients, fruit vendors in Sonepat have been making a profit.

Sonepat: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And yet, the doctor-prescribed diet for covid recovering patients is making headway for the circulation of fruits in the market. With the rise of the daily COVID-19 cases in Sonepat owing to the second wave of the pandemic, the demand for fruits has increased —which has improved the income of local fruit sellers.  

“For us, the recent sales in fruits have overall increased by 25 percent now,” said Shiv, a local fruit seller in Model Town, Sonepat. “Even with lockdown restrictions, this has helped around an 8 to 10 percent increase in my income.” He added, “Though, with longer selling hours, the present demand would have surely led to more than a 20 percent income increase.”

According to him, local authorities do not permit fruit shops to operate beyond five hours in the morning, that is, from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Shiv said, “We’re also seeing an increase in the supply of fruits. I’ve been bringing more fruit to my shop than ever before. For example, I’m now bringing three bags of citrus fruit — 20kgs each —  from the wholesale market. Never did I keep a stock of citrus before.” 

“Kiwi, papaya, chikoo (sapodilla), apple, and citrus fruits are currently the most in-demand,” said Suresh,  owner of Radhey Radhey Fruits in Sector-14, Sonepat. “As I’m currently delivering fruit to households, I’ve been seeing a 30 percent improvement in their demand.” He added, “It’s harder to operate than before, but it’s not like last year when there was a complete lockdown and we faced more than 50 percent losses.”

This demand for fruit is a result of a healthy diet of increasing covid recovering patients that includes a great number of fruits, such as citrus and coconuts. Along with other expenses, many have increased their intake of fruit daily. 

“I was tested covid positive on April 12,” said Ajay, from Omaxe City, Sonepat. “Doctors advised me to increase the consumption of a citrus fruit diet, so the expenditure on fruits greatly increased.” He added, “In comparison to before, the budget used for grocery (including fruit) has now increased by Rs 2000. My diet has shifted from eating a normal dal roti (pulses and chapati) to a complete plate filled with various kinds of fruits.” Ajay also said that now that the demand for fruit has increased, the price of coconut has doubled. Unable to procure the fruit,  it’s sometimes difficult for him to maintain his diet.

“The diet of a covid recovering patient should be enriched with vitamins and minerals,” said Dr. Nirdosh, from Sector-14, Sonepat. “Along with the prescribed course of medication that the patient needs to follow regularly, they should also increase the consumption of natural supplements, for example, fruits. I always tell my patients that for the body to fight and recover from any illness, the coronavirus, in this case, it’s important to give it the essential tools first.” He added, “Fruits such as coconut contain a variety of minerals, including iron, phosphorus, and potassium. These help build a strong immune system and prepare the body to fight off the virus.” 

Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables provide nutrients—like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E—that can boost immune function.