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Novel coronavirus to be called COVID-19: WHO

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COVID 19

New Delhi, Feb 12 : The deadly novel coronavirus has now got its official name. From now on, the virus will be known as ‘COVID-19’.

In a statement released by the World Health Organisation, its Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “we now have a name for the disease: COVID-19. I’ll spell it: C-O-V-I-D hyphen one nine – COVID-19.” He termed the virus as “a common enemy.”

The statement was released on Tuesday by the World Health Organisation.

The WHO chief also said that, “under agreed guidelines between WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, we had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease. Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.”

According to the World Health Organisation there were 42,708 confirmed cases reported in China, and tragically the death toll surpassed 1000 deaths as on Tuesday. “1017 people in China have lost their lives due to this virus. Most of the cases and most of the deaths are in Hubei province. Outside China, there are 393 cases in 24 countries, and 1 death,” said Dr Ghebreyesus.

The world health body also said that it had activated a UN Crisis Management Team, to be led by Dr Mike Ryan that will help the organisation focus on the health response while the other agencies could bring their expertise to bear on the wider social, economic and developmental implications of the outbreak so we are all working to our strengths. Dr Mike Ryan will coordinate the whole UN response.

WHO is also hosting a two-day meeting of more than 400 scientists from around the world, both in person and virtually called Global research and innovation forum on February 11 and 12.

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Spain to return faulty Chinese kits to detect coronavirus

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Madrid, March 30 : Spain has suspended the use of Chinese kits to detect coronavirus after being found to be faulty.

As per media reports, Spain discovered that the rapid test kits failed to detect positive cases. Spain has so far confirmed 57,786 cases for the novel coronavirus and is the worst hit in Europe after Italy from coronavirus.

The virus has hit Spain hard with the second-highest number of deaths at over 4,000. With less confirmed cases than China, Spain has higher death cases than it.

Experts in Spain have reached a conclusion that the kits from China are failing to detect positive corona cases. Spanish newspaper El Pais in a report said that the Chinese kits have only 30 percent sensitivity and are able to detect only 30 percent of the positive cases whereas the tests need to be at least 80 percent sensitive to be effective.

Fernando Simon, the director of Spain’s Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies has said that the 9,000 of the test kits brought from China were found to be ‘not good enough’ and hence Spain has decided to return them.

A spokesperson of the Carlos III Health Institute, part of the Spanish government, told that the test kits from China would be returned and new test kits approved by the government will be launched.

The rapid test kits are reportedly manufactured by the Chinese company Bioeasy. Reportedly, similar kits have been supplied to various other countries including Georgia and the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic also confirmed that the rapid test kits from China are not working at the expected capacity.

However, China is yet to respond to the fresh allegations as it is already facing flak for its handling of information emanating from the virus outbreak.

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Disaster

Nobel laureates Banerjee, Duflo to aid Bengal awareness drive

Announcing the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the research conducted by the troika has considerably improved the ability to fight global poverty.

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Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee

Kolkata, March 29 : Nobel laureate couple Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and Esther Duflo will work with the West Bengal government in increasing awareness about the novel coronavirus disease now raging in the country.

Sources close to the couple said Banerjee had a telephonic conversation with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on coming up with a campaign about the disease by using the Randomised Controlled Trial method which they have used successfully in economics experiments by conducting numerous practical micro-level field experiments with small sample sizes.

Banerjee and Duflo will devise the campaign in coordination with the state government and local doctors.

The team of researchers in Kolkata who work in association with Banerjee and Duflo will implement the campaign to be done through mobile phone.

Banerjee, an Indian-American, jointly bagged the prestigious award along with his wife Esther Duflo and economist Michael Kremer last year.

Announcing the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the research conducted by the troika has considerably improved the ability to fight global poverty.

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China develops nanomaterial to combat coronavirus: Report

“Nanotechnology can be used to design pharmaceuticals that can target specific organs or cells in the body such as cancer cells, and enhance the effectiveness of therapy,” said NIH.

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Beijing, March 29 : A team of Chinese scientists has reportedly developed a novel way to combat the new coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 disease which has killed over 32,000 people globally.

According to Global Times, the new weapon is not a drug or a compound but some nanomaterial.

“Chinese scientists have developed a new weapon to combat the #coronavirus,” the news portal tweeted on Sunday.

“They say they have found a nanomaterial that can absorb and deactivate the virus with 96.5-99.9 per cent efficiency,” it added.

Nanomaterials are used in a variety of manufacturing processes, products and healthcare including paints, filters, insulation and lubricant additives.

In healthcare, Nanozymes are nanomaterials with enzyme-like characteristics.

According to the US NIH, scientists have not unanimously settled on a precise definition of nanomaterials, but agree that they are partially characterized by their tiny size, measured in nanometers.

“Nanotechnology can be used to design pharmaceuticals that can target specific organs or cells in the body such as cancer cells, and enhance the effectiveness of therapy,” said NIH.

However, while engineered nanomaterials provide great benefits, “we know very little about the potential effects on human health and the environment. Even well-known materials, such as silver for example, may pose a hazard when engineered to nano size,” according to NIH.

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