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Wearing a mask can not help prevent coronavirus. Pixabay

Don’t wear face masks to fend off the coronavirus, the World Health Organization says. This is the latest health news by WHO.

“There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly,” WHO executive director of health emergencies Mike Ryan said Monday.


The WHO says the only people who need masks are those who are already sick and those who are caring for the sick.

Ryan also cited the global shortage of medical supplies and the risk frontline workers are facing every day.


President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House. VOA

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“The thought of them not having masks is horrific,” Ryan said.

Although some medical researchers endorse face masks and say effective ones can be homemade, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they are ineffective in filtering small particles from the air and may not help if an infected person sneezes or coughs nearby.

UN resolutions

The U.N. Security Council voted remotely for the first time Monday and approved four resolutions, including one that continues a sanctions monitoring mission for North Korea and another extending the U.N. mission in Somalia.

Council members and staffers have been teleworking for almost three weeks. But some are decrying the new procedures as restrictive and cumbersome and no substitute for meetings and debates.

US death toll

The U.S. coronavirus death toll reached a grim record Monday with 486 deaths reported – the biggest one-day number so far with the total number approaching 3,000.

President Donald Trump says the number of tests for the virus across the country hit the 1 million mark, which he says is the most of any country. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says U.S. labs are carrying out 100,000 tests a day, which he also says is a global record.

The Pentagon announced Monday that a U.S. National Guardsman, Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, died Saturday, becoming the first U.S. military member to succumb to the coronavirus.

“This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said. “The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19,” he added.


A woman wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus, passes in front of graffiti painted on the shutter of a closed restaurant during a lockdown order by the Greek government to control the spread of the virus, in Athens. VOA

California prepares

California Governor Gavin Newsom is calling on retired doctors to hang out their shingles again and is also recruiting medical and nursing students to help with an expected surge of coronavirus cases in that state, the nation’s most populous.

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“California’s health care workers are the heroes of this moment, serving on the front lines in the fight against this disease. To treat the rising number of patients with COVID-19, our state needs more workers in the health care field to join the fight. If you have a background in health care, we need your help,” Newsom said Monday.

The state’s health agency is preparing stadiums and convention centers to serve as makeshift hospitals.

Pastor arrested

Also Monday, a sheriff outside Tampa, Florida arrested a pastor who held services Sunday despite the governor’s orders against gatherings of more than 10 people.

Also Read- New Strain of Plastic-Eating Bacteria Found

“Shame on this pastor, their legal staff and the leaders of this staff for forcing us to do our job. That’s not what we wanted to do during a declared state of emergency,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “We are hopeful that this will be a wakeup call.”

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne said he sanitized his church before the service, calling it an “essential business” like police and firefighters. He also attacked the media for alleged “religious bigotry and hate.” (VOA)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)