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UK declares NCoV ‘imminent threat’ to public health

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Coronavirus

London, Feb 10 : The UK government on Monday declared the deadly coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat” to public health, as it announced new powers to fight its spread.

Under the measures, people can now be forcibly quarantined and will not be free to leave, the BBC reported.

In a statement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Arrowe Park Hospital, on the Wirral, and Kents Hill Park conference centre, in Milton Keynes, have been designated as “isolation” facilities in the UK.

It comes after the Foreign Office chartered two repatriation flights out of the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

On Sunday, around 200 British and foreign nationals evacuated on the UK’s final rescue flight arrived at RAF Brize Norton.

Evacuees were taken to Kents Hill Park for 14 days of quarantine. Britons evacuated on an earlier flight from Wuhan are currently in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital.

A Department of Health spokesman said on Monday: “We are strengthening our regulations so we can keep individuals in supported isolation for their own safety and if public health professionals consider they may be at risk of spreading the virus to other members of the public.

“This measure will rightly make it easier for health professionals to help keep people safe across the country.”

There have been more than 40,000 cases of the virus globally, mostly in China, with four so far in the UK.

The total number of deaths in China is now 908.

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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Analysis

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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corona tests laboratory

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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Analysis

Covid-19 cases cross 700,000 mark; toll over 33,500

The COVID-19 is affecting 132 countries and territories around the world.

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Patients infected with the novel coronavirus

New Delhi, March 30 : The number of coronavirus cases around the world crossed the 700,000 mark near midnight on Monday, with the US comprising over a seventh of them, while the death toll crossed the 33,500 mark, with Italy (10,779) and Spain (6,606) accounting for over half of them, as the Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Centre.

Of the 704,095 total cases, the US led with 132,637 and was followed by Italy with 97, 689 cases, China with 82,122, Spain with 78,799, Germany with 60,659 and Iran with
38,309.

As far the death toll was concerned, China’s Hubei was third with 3,182 deaths, followed by Iran with 2,640, France with 2,606, and the UK with 1,228. US had also reported over 2,000 deaths across the country, the maximum of them in New York City (678).

Meanwhile, 148,824 Covid-19 patients have recovered, with over half (75,582) of them from China, followed by 14,709 in Spain, 13,030 in Italy, 12,391 in Iran and 9,211 in Germany.

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