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Rising CO2 level to worsen India’s protein deficiency problem

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New York, Aug 2: The problem of protein deficiency is known to be widespread in India, and if carbon dioxide (CO2) levels continue to rise as projected, it may put an estimated 53 million people at new risk of consuming less than adequate dietary protein, a Harvard University study says.

The findings published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, showed that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions lower the nutritional value of staple crops, increasing the risk for dietary deficiencies among the world’s most vulnerable people.

The populations of 18 countries may lose more than five per cent of their dietary protein by 2050 due to a decline in the nutritional value of rice, wheat, and other staple crops, according to the study.

The researchers found that India may lose 5.3 per cent of protein from a standard diet as a result of rise in CO2 emissions.

“This study highlights the need for countries that are most at risk to actively monitor their populations’ nutritional sufficiency, and, more fundamentally, the need for countries to curb human-caused CO2 emissions,” said Samuel Myers of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The researchers estimated that roughly an additional 150 million people may be placed at risk of protein deficiency because of elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Globally, 76 per cent of the population derives most of their daily protein from plants.

To estimate their current and future risk of protein deficiency, the researchers combined data from experiments in which crops were exposed to high concentrations of CO2 with global dietary information from the United Nations and measures of income inequality and demographics.

They found that under elevated CO2 concentrations, the protein contents of rice, wheat, barley, and potatoes decreased by 7.6 per cent, 7.8 per cent, 14.1 per cent, and 6.4 per cent, respectively.

The results suggested continuing challenges for Sub Saharan Africa, where millions already experience protein deficiency, and growing challenges for South Asian countries, including India, where rice and wheat supply a large portion of daily protein.

IANS

 

Disaster

COVID-19 pandemic “once in a century”, but still “in our hands”: WHO

“I’m not saying there is no solution now. Whatever happens in the next few months or years, I also believe that it’s in our hands,” he said.

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO

Geneva, Aug 4 : The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the COVID-19 pandemic is “a once-in-a-century health crisis,” but it is still “in our hands.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference on Monday that the world has never seen anything like this pandemic for decades, and its effects might last for decades more, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Since we started probably recording, this is the first ever coronavirus-caused pandemic which has two dangerous combinations: it moves fast, and at the same time it’s a killer,” the WHO chief explained.

However, he noted, although the crisis is very severe, there are still solutions and hopes.

“I’m not saying there is no solution now. Whatever happens in the next few months or years, I also believe that it’s in our hands,” he said.

“Since the outbreak started, many countries have shown that it can be controlled, or serious transmission can be suppressed,” Tedros said, adding that he has mentioned many such countries in the past, including Spain, Italy, China and South Korea.

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Delhi govt bans use of hookah in hotels, restaurants to stem COVID-19 spread

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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New Delhi, Aug 3 : The Delhi government on Monday banned the use of hookahs, with or without tobacco, in all public places, including hotels, restaurants and bars, with immediate effect to control the spread of COVID-19.

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as smoking means the fingers are in contact with the lips which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus, the health department said in an order.

“Smokers may also already have lung diseases or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness,” it said.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings, the health department said.

Therefore, the use and sharing of hookah, with or without tobacco (herbal hookah), “which might further increase the spread of SARS-CoV2, is strictly prohibited in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, eateries, discotheques, etc. in Delhi with immediate effect to prevent and control the outbreak of COVID-19”, it said.

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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Health

Senior CPI-M leader Md Salim tested for Covid +ve

He said that the decision also aimed at avoiding all kinds of risks of infection amongst his friends, family and neighbours.

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Md Salim

Kolkata, Aug 4 : Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader from West Bengal Mohammad Salim has tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday night.

The ex-MP tweeted, “I have tested positive for Coronavirus with very mild symptoms but I got myself admitted into a hospital as per the advice of my attending doctor”.

He said that the decision also aimed at avoiding all kinds of risks of infection amongst his friends, family and neighbours.

Senior Congress leader from West Bengal Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wished a speedy recovery to Md Salim. “Get well soon,” Adhir tweeted.

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