Rome, Nov 15 (IANS) Italy has added two more regions to its coronavirus high-risk "red zones" as the daily case count has surged again.The two regions, Tuscany and Campania, will join the other four and one autonomous province to be put under strict restrictions, starting from Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.Earlier this month, the Italian government had introduced a three-tier system and split the country into three zones: red for the highest risk, orange for medium risk, and yellow for low risk."We are asking people for further sacrifices," Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza wrote on Facebook on Saturday."There is no alternative path if we want to lower the number of deaths, contain infections, and avoid our health services to be put under an unbearable burden... We will make it, but everyone's contribution is essential," he added.The "red zones" are subjected to restrictions equal to a soft lockdown. Currently, in the "red zones" are Lombardy, Piedmont and the Aosta Valley in the north, and Calabria in the south, plus the Alto Adige (or South Tyrol) autonomous province in northern Italy.In the "red zones", all non-essential shops are shut, and non-essential movements are prohibited, as well as moving from one city to another within the region or to other parts of the country. Outdoor sports activities are permitted within a short distance from home only.Secondary schools (as in the rest of the country) and middle schools have to resort to full-time distant learning again, as in the first two-month-long national lockdown declared in spring.These rules would add to the other restrictions implemented all over across the country, such as a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and the closure of gyms, discos, theatres, and museums.As of Sunday, Italy's overall coronavirus caseload and death toll stood at 1,144,552 and 44,683, respectively.--IANSksk/
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 13 (IANS) A 64-year-old Kerala man, who believes himself to be an amateur scientist, has developed a hot air inhaler which could keep even the Coronavirus at bay, but authorities are yet to put their stamp of approval on it. As of now it is just a claim.M.C. David who hails from Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district, time and again has been in the news with his innovations/inventions."The invention is a simple face mask in which a specially made part is fixed, which is a heat radiating system using heat element with a battery management system(BMS). Anyone can wear this mask and breathe the hot air for around 30 minutes a day and one can be rest assured one will have no fear of any Covid. So far I have made 10 units and my family and friends have used it. "I was the first to use it, when one day when I got up I felt I had all the Covid symptoms , but after one single use, all the symptoms disappeared and so were the results I got from those who used this," added David.David, however, is waiting with fingers crossed for an approval, as he has been waiting for the past 45 days after sending it to ICMR, and state capital city based reputed institutes -- Sree Chithra Thirunal Institute and Medical Technology and the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology.Ever since his return from the Middle East in 2013, where he worked as a quantity surveyor/estimator with leading companies, David has had seven patents, including one US one to his name.Speaking to IANS, David said with the pandemic still surging, his thought process was put to work and he come out with the hot air inhaler."The basic factor is that viruses could not live in continuous hot situation. Many studies have been published in connection with this effect. The only possible solution," according to David, "was a steam inhaler."David's latest invention -- a face mask, which requires a mobile charger with 5V, 2Amp (adapter) -- enough to power the unit, he said."This can be used anywhere, even when one is on the move and the same unit can be used by multiple people," after cleaning it."I have had no response from anywhere and I have also approached the Kerala Startup Mission. I wish somebody comes up as there have been medical literature which speaks of the success of inhalation of hot humid air," added David, who is also a self proclaimed magician.--IANSsg/in
As per data from Johns Hopkins, daily deaths stand at 1,800 plus end of day Wednesday - the highest level in three months. Daily cases have shot past 144,000, the highest ever. At least 65,000 people are currently hospitalised with the virus. The first case of COVID-19 in US was reported 294 days ago on January 21, 2020. The "dark winter" warning has been sounded long ago but there is deafening silence from a White House preoccupied with fighting election results and scolding Pfizer for releasing its encouraging vaccine news after the Biden victory. The US is now recording more than 100,000 new confirmed cases daily for more than a week. The death toll stands at more than 242,000, with the total caseload at 10.5 million. The worst numbers have begun ever since election day and only getting worse. Schools that waded into hybrid models are now reporting Covid-19 cases, many as a result of casual gatherings among high school students.New York City is considering shutting down in-person classes across its massive school system if positive virus tests reach the 3 percent mark. New Jersey plans to give towns and cities the option to limit hours at nonessential businesses after 8 pm. School systems in Detroit, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Minneapolis have cancelled in-person classes, and some governors even in reliably Republican states are giving masks a harder look. America's top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci doubled down on universal masking and assured Americans that the "cavalry is coming," in the form of vaccines which could be delivered as early as Christmas for priority populations."Help is really on the way," he said.Public health experts are warning Americans not to congregate indoors during the traditional Thanksgiving holiday in the last week of November. The nearly week-long lull on America's school and work calendars is typically marked by a spike in inter-state family travel and turkey dinners over large and small gatherings. This time, doctors have sounded the alarm that the risks of carrying on with this very American tradition in its undiluted form are going off the charts. Echoing President-elect Joe Biden's messaging on the virus, Fauci urged Americans to follow "universal and uniform" wearing of masks, avoid crowds, maintain social distance and wash hands frequently. All these are 101 in terms of public health advice since the beginning of the pandemic but have been roiled by counter programming by the Trump White House. Trump has branded Fauci and his ilk as "idiots", touted unproven drugs and run his entire election campaign in the form of multi-state super spreader events."It really does make a difference," Fauci said about masks, as the US hit a new record of over 100,000 daily cases for the eighth straight day.<br> <br>Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech announced this week that their COVID-19 vaccine may be 90 percent effective, based on early and incomplete test results that sent a ripple of hope across the world. Fauci expects that two other companies will also turn up encouraging results. Pfizer is expected to deliver final efficacy results in the third week of November. --IANS<br>niki/rs
New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) With the spike in air pollution in Delhi-NCR, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Wednesday ordered closing of hot mix plants and stone crushers till November 17 and also asked Punjab and Haryana to take stringent action to curb stubble burning.On Tuesday, the newly-formed Commission on Air Quality Management decided that in view of deteriorating air quality in the NCR region, there is a need to invoke the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and entrusted the task of operationalising and monitoring the CPCB till a mechanism is set up by the Commission.In view of the spike in pollution and likely increase in activities during festive season, hot mix plants and stone crushers have been directed to remain closed all the time till November 17 and the frequency of mechanised cleaning of roads and water sprinkling has also asked to be increased, particularly on the road stretches with high dust generation potential."It shall be ensured that guidelines standard operating procedures for dust mitigation at construction sites are strictly adhered to. In case of violations, strict action should be taken against the violators like imposition of penalty or temporary stoppage of construction activities," the CPCB said.Besides this, the states of Punjab and Haryana must take immediate stringent actions to curb stubble burning. According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, stubble burning share in PM2.5 in Delhi's air was 3 per cent on Wednesday as against to 42 per cent on November 5.Biomass burning in Delhi and other NCR towns will also be strictly checked, the CPCB said. Implementing agencies have also been asked to ensure compliance of orders of courts and the National Green Tribunal regarding banning of sale and use of firecrackers.Delhi's air quality index stood at 344 micrograms per cubic metre at noon, as against 476 a day before. The city recorded severe category air quality for six consecutive days due to an increase in stubble burning and unfavourable wind speed.The CPCB also said that the action is being taken as it has been observed that PM 2.5 concentration in Delhi NCR exceeded 300 micrograms per cubic metre at 7 p.m. on November 8 and persisted for more than 48 hours at on November 10."Currently, the AQI is in very poor category and as per Air Quality Forecast of 11th November 2020 for Delhi City by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, Ministry of Earth Science, air quality over Delhi NCR is likely to improve and stay in upper end of very poor category during the day and tomorrow. However, air quality may deteriorate marginally and remain in upper end of very poor to severe category on November 13, 2020," it added.--IANSaka/vd
Moscow, Nov 1 (IANS) SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, may not only damage key red blood cells, but also prevent formation of new ones, says a new study.In the study, published in the journal Archiv EuroMedica, researchers from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in Russia, along with their Japanese colleagues probed how Covid-19's impact on red blood cells called erythrocytes affects patients.Erythrocytes are red blood cells which are responsible in the body for transport of the iron-rich protein hemoglobin carrying oxygen.Loss of erythrocytes might cause damage to the brain neurons, blood vessels, and internals, considering they do not get enough oxygen.In the most severe cases, multiple organ failure can occur, and without his/her own red blood cells, the patient starts to suffocate.Artificial ventilation does not help in such a scenario as there is no one who transports oxygen within the body.Effective therapy for such patients is to administer erythrocyte mass and vitamin B12, suggests the research.Early breakdown of red blood cells is the initial reaction of the body to the SARS-COV-2 virus, which scales up gradually, said the study.The patient can learn about the pathology by feeling the taste of iron. That occurs because hemoglobin released from erythrocytes in the bloodstream gets in saliva.According to scientists, everyone who has low hemoglobin is at risk.These are elderly people, patients with high blood pressure, people with obesity and diabetes mellitus, pregnant women, patients with primary and acquired immunodeficiency, with inhibition of hematopoietic function, HIV- and cancer patients."The virus enters the epithelium, where it multiplies, then enters the bloodstream and attacks targets, which can be both the internal epithelium (gastrointestinal tract, lungs, genitourinary system) and erythrocytes," explained Galina Reva, Professor at Far Eastern Federal University."Although most frequently we would see the pathology of the respiratory system, lungs, the virus needs epithelial cells only for reproduction."We believe the main target for the virus is the red marrow, where it damages the endothelium, the tissue, which normally regulates the migration of maturing cells into the blood," Reva said.Conducting the investigation, the scientists analysed the results of their own studies of lung samples from 79 patients who died from Covid-19. In the control group there were 14 patients who died accidentally.--IANSgb/pgh
Jerusalem - An international team of researchers has identified a direct molecular link between meat and dairy diets and the development of antibodies in the blood that increase the chances of developing cancer.
This connection may explain the high incidence of cancer among those who consume large amounts of dairy products and red meat, similar to the link between high cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease.
According to the study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, Neu5Gc is a sugar molecule found in the tissues of mammals but not in poultry or fish.
Humans develop antibodies to Neu5Gc in infancy, when they are first exposed to dairy and meat products.
While it is known that these antibodies increase the risk of cancer, especially colorectal cancer, no direct link had been found between the antibodies and meat and dairy consumption.
"We found a significant correlation between high consumption of Neu5Gc from red meat and cheeses and increased development of those antibodies that heighten the risk of cancer," said study author Vered Padler-Karavani from the Tel Aviv University in Israel.
For the study, the researchers used samples from NutriNet-Sante, an extensive national nutritional survey conducted in France.
The research team members measured the amount of Neu5Gc sugar in a variety of dairy and meat foods common in the French diet and calculated the daily Neu5Gc intake of 19,621 adults aged 18 and over, who reported all of their food intake online over a period of several days.
The research team then took a representative sample of 120 participants and tested the levels of the anti-Neu5Gc antibodies in their blood.
Based on these findings and the quantification of Neu5Gc sugar in various food products from France, the team created an index called the Gcemic index.
This index ranks foods whose excessive consumption can lead to an increase in the antibodies - and possibly to an increase in the risk of cancer.
They found a significant correlation between high consumption of Neu5Gc from red meat and cheeses and increased development of those antibodies that heighten the risk of cancer.
"We were able to find a molecular link thanks to the accuracy of the methods used to measure the antibodies in the blood and the detailed data from the French diet questionnaires," the study authors noted. (IANS)
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