Tuesday March 31, 2020
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Has The Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Redefined The concept of Respecting Personal Space? Know Here

The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most of those infected, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or people with existing health problems. The vast majority of those infected recover

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Coronavirus
The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most of those infected, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or people with existing health problems. The vast majority of those infected recover.  VOA

Social distancing could qualify as an oxymoron in Italy, where walking arm-in-arm with friends, kissing neighbors in greeting and patting the heads of babies are part of the demonstrative culture, but coronavirus has deluded it all.

This New virus has rapidly redefined the concept of respecting personal space for tactile Italians, as well as for South Koreans, Filipinos, Americans, Spaniards and citizens of many other crowded parts of the world.  

Whether acting under government orders or following basic public health advice, people are putting distance between themselves to keep the coronavirus away. The new rules of engagement call for maintaining a gap of one to two meters (or three to six feet) to prevent possible exposure when an infected individual coughs or speaks.

The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most of those infected, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or people with existing health problems. The vast majority of those infected recover.  

The reset norm for an acceptable degree of separation became visible evidence of the pandemic’s reach as schools, shopping malls and sports venues closed and opportunities for public encounters dwindled. Outside a gun shop in California, a post office in Hungary and a supermarket in Manila, lines lengthened as customers queued up at more or less proper intervals.

Practicing social distancing at first created confusion among shoppers waiting at a supermarket in Madrid. Some harsh exchanges ensued. But customers soon learned that if they wanted their groceries, they needed to fall into line.

The safe space standards also reveal how closely humans positioned themselves before. Pastors at a church in Seoul had room to spread out in empty pews after deciding to conduct Sunday services online. Journalists at a news conference in Berlin sat in chairs spaced away from one another.

Coronavirus
Whether acting under government orders or following basic public health advice, people are putting distance between themselves to keep the coronavirus away. Pixabay

A nationwide decree that took effect in Italy last week obliges people to stay at least one meter (about three feet) apart. Overnight, habits of a lifetime and of an entire society were turned upside down.  

In a country where waiting your turn often equates to elbowing your way to the front of an undisciplined pack, Italians dutifully lined up with breaks in between — one meter, two meters, sometimes standing across the street from each other to keep stores uncrowded and themselves from getting COVID-19.

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Shopkeepers whipped out measuring tapes.

“I have seen a lot of discipline, solidarity and collaboration, and everybody understands that the first that falls will pull the others with him,” said Piero Emilio Vincenzi, owner of an appliance store near the Vatican. (VOA)

Next Story

Can TB Vaccine Fight COVID-19? Here is the Answer

TB vaccine a potential new tool to fight COVID-19: Study

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Researchers have found that Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), could be a potential new tool in the fight against the disease. Pixabay

Examining how the COVID-19 has impacted different countries, researchers have found that Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), could be a potential new tool in the fight against the disease.

The study that appeared in the pre-print repository medRxiv, proposed that national differences in COVID-19 impact could be partially explained by the different national policies respect to BCG childhood vaccination.

The BCG vaccine has existed for almost a century and is one of the most widely used of all current vaccines.

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BCG vaccine has a documented protective effect against meningitis and disseminated TB in children.

vaccine
The BCG vaccine has existed for almost a century and is one of the most widely used of all current vaccines. Pixabay

It has also been reported to offer broad protection to respiratory infections.

For the study, the researchers compared large number of countries BCG vaccination policies with the morbidity and mortality for COVID-19.

“We found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination (Italy, the Netherlands, the US) have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies,” said the study conducted by researchers from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) College of Osteopathic Medicine in the US.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US has increased to 142,502, the highest in terms of infections globally, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).

The CSSE data showed that at least 34,026 people have died due to the disease in the country.

In Italy, which is one of the worst affected countries, 10,779 people have died due to COVID-19.

In this latest study on impact of BCG vaccination on COVID-19, researchers also found that countries that have a late start of universal BCG policy, for example, Iran had high mortality, consistent with the idea that BCG protects the vaccinated elderly population.

“There was a positive significant correlation between the year of the establishment of universal BCG vaccination and the mortality rate, consistent with the idea that the earlier that a policy was established, the larger fraction of the elderly population would be protected,” said the study.

vaccine
BCG vaccine has a documented protective effect against meningitis and disseminated TB in children. Pixabay

“For instance, Iran has a current universal BCG vaccination policy but it just started in 1984, and has an elevated mortality with 19.7 deaths per million inhabitants.

“In contrast, Japan started its universal BCG policy in 1947 and has around 100 times less deaths per million people, with 0.28 deaths. Brazil started universal vaccination in 1920 and also has an even lower mortality rate of 0.0573 deaths per million inhabitants,” the resulst showed.

Iran announced 2,901 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the total number of confirmed cases soared to 38,309. Also, the death toll from the disease reached 2,640 in Iran, while 12,391 patients have recovered.

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As the numbers of tuberculosis cases dropped in the late 20th century, several middle high and high-income countries in Europe dropped the universal BCG policy between years 1963 and 2010.

“The combination of reduced morbidity and mortality makes BCG vaccination a potential new tool in the fight against COVID-19,” the researchers concluded.

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Gonzalo H. Otazu of NYIT is the corresponding author of the study.

The COVID-19 death toll in Europe climbed to over 21,000 out of more than 360,000 confirmed cases. (IANS)