Older Adults More Willing To Help Others As Compared To Younger Adults

New research has found that older adults are more willing to make an effort to help others as compared to younger adults. According to the researchers, including Matthew Apps from the University of Birmingham, this study is the first to show how effortful ‘prosocial’ behavior — intended to benefit others — changes as people get older. “Our results showed very clearly that participants in our older age group were more likely to work harder for others, even though they would gain no significant financial reward for themselves,” Apps said. For the study, published in Psychological Science, the research team tested a group of 95 adults aged between 18 and 36 and a group of 92 adults aged 55-85. Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated. Each participant made 150 choices about whether or not to grip a handheld dynamometer — a device for measuring grip strength or force — with six different levels of how hard they had to grip. Before the experiment, the researchers measured each person’s maximum grip strength, so they could make sure that the effort people had to put in was the same for everyone, and not affected by how strong people were. ALSO READ: Study: Older Adults With Retinopathy Are At Increased Risk Of Having A Stroke For each decision, participants were told whether they would be working to gain money for themselves or another person. First, they were asked to decide whether they would be willing to put in the effort to gain money or not. If they accepted the offer they had to grip hard enough to get the money. The results showed that when the task was easy, young and older adults were equally willing to work for others, but, when the task was more effortful older adults were more willing to work to help others. In contrast, younger adults were more selfish and were much more likely to put in higher levels of effort to benefit themselves. (IANS/SP)

Explore The Heritage Of Punjab Through The Lens Of Documentary ‘The Bathinda Fort’

With a view to inspire the younger generation about the glorious historical and cultural heritage of Punjab, senior Advisor to Chief Minister Lt Gen (retd) T.S. Shergill on Saturday virtually released the documentary ‘The Bathinda Fort’ amidst the presence of its Director Harpreet Sandhu. The advisor said that the documentary film depicts the Bathinda Fort, the magnificent historic monument of national importance and the oldest surviving fort in India built around the sixth century. He said the fort has historical relevance as it is related to the first woman Empress of India, Razia Sultan, who was kept as a prisoner in this fort, later she escaped by jumping from a balcony. Follow NewsGram on Twitter to stay updated about the World news. “This three-storied structure has been designed purely in Mughal design and is worth paying a visit,” said Lt Gen. Shergill, adding the fort is also known as Govindgarh Fort, having a historical relevance with the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, who visited this fort in 1705. ALSO READ: ‘1232 Kms’: Vinod Kapri’s Documentary On The Plight Of Migrant Workers Lt. Gen Shergill, after watching the preview of the documentary film, urged people to just watch the documentary that would definitely help to boost tourism as most people are still unaware of this heritage site in Bathinda town. Lauding the dedicated efforts of Director Harpreet Sandhu, he said that it is very heartening to see the legal luminary being passionate about helping the state government in promoting the history and culture of the state, thus inspiring the youth to get connect with their roots. Sandhu thanked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Lt Gen Shergill for encouraging him to follow his passion to promote the heritage and cultural grandeur of Punjab for the sake of posterity. (IANS/SP)

Know About The Six Nepali Women Creating A Record Feat

Six Nepali women have reached the top of Mt. Annapurna creating a record feat on the 8,091-metre tall peak, the Himalayan nation’s Department of Tourism and an expedition organizing company said. Purnima Shrestha, Sharmila Tamang, Dawa Phuti Sherpa, Dawa Yangjung, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, and Maya Sherpa became the first Nepali women on the top of the mountain on Friday afternoon.

Bhisma Raj Bhattarai, section officer at the mountaineering section of the tourism department, told Xinhua news agency that these women reached the top of the mountain becoming the first to do so. In 1978, two female climbers from the US became the first women to reach the top of the world’s 10th tallest mountain.

Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated. Annapurna is considered among the world’s most treacherous mountains to climb due to its extremely steep south face, a wall of rock that rises 3,000 meters. Mingma Sherpa, the chairperson of Seven Summit Trek, one of five expedition organizing companies for the assent, told Xinhua news agency that a total of 68 climbers, including the mountain guides, reached the top of Annapurna on Friday, which is the record high on the mountain in a single day. ALSO READ: This Is How Female Leaders Govern Differently It beats the record set on May 1, 2016, when 32 climbers had scaled the mountain. The Tourism Department has so far issued permits for 44 Nepali and foreign climbers to summit Annapurna. (IANS/SP)

Study: Covid19 Likely Not To Effect The Brain Directly

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, likely does not directly infect the brain but can still inflict significant neurological damage, a new study suggests. The findings, published in the journal Brain, suggest that the neurological changes often seen in these patients may result from inflammation triggered by the virus in other parts of the body or the brain’s blood vessels. “We’ve looked at more brains than other studies and we have used more techniques to search for the virus. The bottom line is that we find no evidence of viral RNA or protein in brain cells,” said researcher James E. Goldman from Columbia University. Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated. For the study, the research team examined the brains of 41 patients with Covid-19 who succumbed to the disease during their hospitalization. The patients ranged in age from 38 to 97, about half had been intubated and all had lung damage caused by the virus. All of the patients had extensive clinical and laboratory investigations, and some had brain MRI and CT scans. ALSO READ: Are Two Masks Better Than One At Preventing COVID-19 Spread? To detect any virus in the neurons and glia cells of the brain, the researchers used multiple methods including RNA in situ hybridization, which can detect viral RNA within intact cells; antibodies that can detect viral proteins within cells; and RT-PCR, a sensitive technique for detecting viral RNA. Despite their intensive search, the researchers found no evidence of the virus in the patients’ brain cells. Though they did detect very low levels of viral RNA by RT-PCR, this was likely due to virus in blood vessels or leptomeninges covering the brain. The tests were conducted on more than two dozen regions, including the olfactory bulb, which was searched because some reports have speculated that the coronavirus can travel from the nasal cavity into the brain via the olfactory nerve. “Even there, we didn’t find any viral protein or RNA. Though we found viral RNA and protein in the patients’ nasal mucosa and in the olfactory mucosa high in the nasal cavity,” Goldman said. (IANS/SP)

Explained: The Connection Between Hindus And Yazidis

BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY The Yezidis are the Kurdish religious minorities from countries like Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey. With the news focusing on the culture in Iraq, not many people are aware that the Yezidi and Hindu cultures are strikingly close. The two civilizations have had a long relationship dating back to ancient times. The Yazidis used to be nomadic and had therefore migrated to India. This resulted in a massive cultural influx, with some of them staying in India for over four thousand years. They incorporated Hindu culture into their rituals during this time period. The Yazidis light oil lamps with peacocks on top, which is a popular Indian tradition. Yazidi temples, similar to Hindu temples, have a pyramid-shaped Gopura.
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  Furthermore, their temple in Lalish features a snake symbol at the entrance, which is not found among any other Arabian or Mesopotamian tribes. Moreover, the Yazidis’ emblem is a peacock with wings extended, similar to the Hindu god Siva’s son Subrahmanya‘s mount. For Hindus, Subrahmanya is the other snake avatar, and he is revered for all snake-related pujas such as Naga Panchami.
The Yazidis used to be nomadic and had therefore migrated to India. Wikimedia commons
  At first glance, the relationship between these two cultures appears to be surprising. But, history can be somewhat uncertain. Few other parallels between Iraqi Yazidis and followers of the Vedic Religion include:
  • Yazidis marry only within their castes, i.e. total of 4 castes like original Hindus, and follow the gotra system in different terminology.
  • The religious minority prays with folded hands facing the sun at sunrise and sunset. They, like Hindus, believe in a recurring birth and death cycle.
  • In a similar fashion as Hindus, the Yazidi men do not circumcise, which is a rare phenomenon in the middle-east.
  • Yazidi women, like Hindu women, light oil lamps in large numbers during festival celebrations. Also, when Yazidi women enter their temples, they wear a mark on their forehead that is very similar to the bindi or tilak which is worn by Hindu women.
Yazidi women, like Hindu women, light oil lamps in large numbers during festival celebrations. Wikimediacommons
ALSO READ: Here’s Why ISIS Targeted Yazidi People
  • In their culture, fire worship is given the highest priority in their culture, equivalent to the Havans in Vedic tradition. Additionally, the Yazidi Sabbath day falls on the same day as the festival Skanda Shashtri or Subrahmanya Shashti. Yazidis play the dholak, blow the shank, bathe in holy rivers, and worship the peacock, all of which are similar to Hindu customs.
  • The Yazidis were the Hindu Brahmin priests at Gobleki Tepi, one of the ancient Stonehenge. Moreover, on the walls of secret temples in Iraq, carvings of Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman, as well as paintings of an Indian woman lighting a peacock lamp, were discovered.

Spiritual Power To Guard, ‘Jai Shri Ram’ Printed Mask More In Demand

As the second wave of covid19 is increasing everywhere especially in Maharashtra and other states. The only possible way to protect yourself is to wear a mask whenever you head outdoors. While taking all the safety measures people are following social distancing and are using masks to protect themselves. Due to the surge of Covid19 demand for masks is also increasing. The patterns and designs have also played a major role in mask making and its usage. Similarly, the mask manufacturers from Uttar Pradesh have witnessed a sudden increase in the demand for ‘Jai Shree Ram’ printed masks of different colors. People in Uttar Pradesh, are willing to buy more and more Ram printed masks. With people turning to prayers in the pandemic, masks with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ printed on them are in great demand. Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what’s happening around the world. Suruchi, who owns a boutique in Lucknow, said, “There has been a decline in demand for dresses so I decided to start making masks — some of them with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ written on them. Suddenly, I am flooded with requests for masks in various colors.” She said that she has supplied ‘Jai Shri Ram’ masks in large quantities to candidates contesting the Panchayat polls. ALSO READ: Are Two Masks Better Than One At Preventing COVID-19 Spread? “I got orders for 2,000 masks from a candidate in Bakshi Ka Talab on the outskirts of Lucknow. Word soon went around and now I have ordered from districts like Sultanpur, Basti, and Maharajganj and I am finding it difficult to cope with the demand,” she stated. Ashutosh Agarwal, who sells these masks in his grocery stores in Lucknow, said that masks with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ written on them are in demand because people believe that these masks have the ‘spiritual power to guard them against the virus. (IANS/SP)

Close Representation Of Women And Men Competing For The First Time In History

UN Women, a United Nations entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment, on Friday said that the 2021 Tokyo Olympics will have close to equal representation of women and men competing for the first time in its history. The Tokyo Games, which are three months away, will see the percentage of women competing touch 48.8 percent for the first time in the history of modern Olympics. They will compete in 46 disciplines – one more than men – in the quadrennial event. “For comparison, only 22 women (2.2 percent) out of 997 athletes competed in the modern @Olympics for the first time in 1900. The Tokyo2020 Olympics will have close to equal representation of women and men competing for the first time in its history,” tweeted the global organization.
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They also posted a GIF, tracing the history of the growth of women athletes – and disciplines – over a period of 124 years of the Olympic movement. For the record, the first modern Olympics, hosted by Athens in 1896, had 280 male participants from 13 nations. The Games truly became global in 1924 Paris when 3,089 athletes competed, of which 135 were women. ALSO READ: Tokyo Olympics Announced To Host 18 Test Events According to UN Women, the 1900 Paris Olympics had 2.2 percent participation by women; it came down to 0.9 percent in 1904 and by the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, the percentage had risen to nine. By the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, the percentage of women had gone up to 26, and of the 8,400-odd athletes, about 2,200 were women. Discipline-wise too, while only four were designated for women, compared to men’s 21 in 1904, it had risen to 40 in 2008 Beijing as compared to men, who competed in 41 events. Women competed in more disciplines at the 2016 Rio Olympics — 41 as compared to men in 40 disciplines – with their percentage standing at 45. The Tokyo Olympics will see nearly half of the athletes — 48.8 percent – being women competing in 46 disciplines as compared to men who will take part in 45. (IANS/SP)

What Has Happened To Basic Cricket Intelligence?

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has commenced with a flourish. Cricket has become the entertainment in this scary, dreary, and home-bound alternative that one is facing due to Covid-19. The cricketers, especially the Indian eager beavers, are making a mark. Like in earlier editions, lesser-known names are emerging.

The IPL brings to light the talent that India possesses in limited-overs cricket. It is a super-platform for an aspiring Indian player to come into the limelight. The standard of cricket being played in the IPL is of a much higher quality than in any other league in the world. Several international players who have been extremely successful elsewhere are looking like average performers in the IPL. Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated. One is pleasantly surprised when one sees young Indian bowlers coping with the responsibility and pressure of bowling the crucial and final overs. The most expensive player in IPL history, Chris Morris being denied strike by young Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson on the last ball of the match was a good example of how young Indian players are making bold decisions and are willing to shoulder responsibility. Samson refused to take a single and instead trusted himself to clear the boundary on the last ball of the match. Unfortunately, he failed to get the required runs and was caught on the boundary. The way Morris had faced the few deliveries earlier, did not inspire much confidence and so Samson taking the onus onto himself was understandable. Similarly, bowling in the death and crucial overs by Harshal Patel, T. Natarajan, Chetan Sakariya, Avesh Khan, Rahul Chahar, Shahbaz Ahmed have shown the mental strength and nerves of steel that the new Indian cricketers possess. India’s international cricketers have also shown this tough characteristic in their last two series against Australia and England recently and to see the same attitude in domestic cricketers is quite remarkable.
IPL (Indian Premier League. Wikimedia Commons
The professional atmosphere that every franchise brings forth through highly recognized mentors, coaches, analysts, fitness trainers, and specific batting, bowling, and fielding experts is quite astonishing. The world’s best cricket-related support staff have converged on the IPL and are bringing their experience and thought processes into play. This has been fabulous for Indian cricket. All this augurs well in developing, creating awareness, and strategizing the players’ skills and approach. However, the problems that arise are when things go awry and players have to do the basics, like using their natural cricketing instinct and intelligence. Cricket intelligence is what made the likes of Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Garry Sobers and so many of the past cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar invigorating to watch. One wonders whether this excessive brainstorming and analyzing that a modern cricketer is subjected to is diminishing one’s natural thought process and approach. The two matches that come to mind recently were those in which both Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad failed to chase achievable targets. Both the sides were on a comfortable stage, needing around a run, a ball with plenty of wickets in store. The pitch was certainly not a minefield; however, it was slow-paced like in many Indian venues. This was an ideal situation that required a batsman to play in the gaps which the limited-overs field restrictions offer in abundance. That could have helped them accumulate runs without taking many risks.
The standard of cricket being played in the IPL is of a much higher quality. Pixabay
Instead, what one saw in the approach of the batsmen was the eagerness to hit the ball into the empty stands. This attitude prevails because analysts and researchers have shown that T20 victories are won by scoring more boundaries and not through subtle placements. Both the bowler and the batsman are trained to bowl and bat in a certain way as indicated to them by the wise men who sit in the bunker. One can see the confusion that prevails in the thought process of not only the young but also the experienced cricketers — whether to follow their natural instincts or adhere to the drawn-up plan that has been carefully thought out. The natural fall-out is to listen to the coaches. Failing even while executing their plan and process would be acceptable, whereas, to do so on one’s whims and fancy could prove to be unacceptable. This is precisely why both KKR and SRH lost in their chase. The game of cricket does require all the tools available to understand, utilize, analyze to develop a team’s strategy and a cricketer’s skills. But suffocating one’s natural approach is not sustainable in the long run. Indian players, who have lost form seem to run home to their local coaches and mentors, who have developed them, for help. This has been the case with many Indian cricketers. Not a single one of them has approached either his foreign IPL coach for help or advice. ALSO READ: All About The Underrated Ex-Cricketer: Dilip Doshi Yes, a cricketer does need all the inputs in becoming better but when it comes to fulfilling a task like chasing a target with simple cricket intelligence, M.S. Dhoni was a prime example. This he could do so because of his sharp cricketing brain and his ability to understand his game. This is why he was considered to be one of the best ‘finishers’. The beauty was that his mind was a clear cricket computer not cluttered with preconceived ideas. Dhoni’s success was his natural cricket intellect which seems to be lacking in the initial matches that one has seen in the recent IPL matches. (IANS/SP)

Brown Is A Good Complexion To Flaunt, In Era Of Inclusivity

Indian showbiz is once again on the global map. “Delhi Crime” and Arjun Mathur won International Emmys, Adarsh Gourav had a BAFTA nomination. His film “The White Tiger” went to the BAFTAs, too, and is in contention at the Oscars. Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone hit the Hollywood highway. Manushi Chhillar was crowned Miss World 2017. It’s all happened before, you would argue. So, what’s new? The difference between now and what was happening even a few years — say, about a decade – ago, when “Slumdog Millionaire” made India flavor of the season at the Oscars and Irrfan Khan or Anupam Kher found their date diaries packed with Hollywood assignments, is that the success of Indians now is much more than individual accomplishment. Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated. In the West’s era of newfound inclusivity, the triumphs of “Delhi Crime” or “The White Tiger” or Arjun Mathur or Priyanka and Deepika would seem like a stamp of endorsement that affirms India exists in the scheme of things when it comes to global inclusivity. The success of past masters who did India proud on the global stage — from Naseeruddin Shah, Saeed Jaffery, Amrish Puri, Om Puri or Shabana Azmi to Mira Nair’s “Salaam Bombay!” and onto Aamir Khan’s “Lagaan” — wasn’t necessarily tied to a worldwide socio-political movement. Those were essentially individual successes that, of course, also made the whole country proud. Not only these instances, but we were also quick to latch onto anyone of ‘Indian origin’ phenomenon who made an impact — from Ben Kingsley to Kal Penn to Padma Lakshmi to Dev Patel to Kunal Nayyar. There would seem to be a method about the brown people who made a mark as the West — particularly Hollywood — made its attitudinal shift towards inclusivity. The late Irrfan Khan’s global career, kickstarted mainly by “Slumdog Millionaire”, and Priyanka Chopra or Deepika Padukone’s Hollywood arrival, happened around the same time — when Indians stopped being mere ‘outsider’ characters in a script and Hollywood has stopped casting Indians as the quintessential cabbies and waiters.
Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone hit the Hollywood highway. Pixabay
The deal is simple. If Hollywood inclusivity is, at one level, driven by the urge to expand markets, it started quietly in the nineties, with the discovery of Chinese/Korean/Hong Kong talent (that the West loves to cumulatively call “Asian” lineage) in Hollywood films. The success of the template has been carried forward — internally in the US by giving cognizance to the Blacks, and externally to every other skin color. India, given its large consumer base, had to find a place in this all-new mantra of inclusivity. Over the next decade, be sure we will be more frequent at the Oscars, and brown faces will be more commonly cast in bona fide Hollywood productions. What started with Priyanka in “Quantico” or “Baywatch”, or Deepika in “xXx: Return Of Xander Cage”, has grown swiftly in a short time. Dimple Kapadia had a defining act in Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and Ali Fazal co-starred with the inimitable Judi Dench “Victoria & Abdul”. Fazal also has a role in Kenneth Branagh’s new Hercule Poirot mystery, “Death On The Nile”. Only last year, Randeep Hooda, Pankaj Tripathi, and Priyanshu Painyuli had well-scripted roles in the Chris Hemsworth-starrer action drama “Extraction”. “Avengers” makers Joe and Anthony Russo, who produced “Extraction”, have cast Priyanka in their upcoming series “Citadel”, co-starring Richard Madden and Stanley Tucci. The Russos have also cast Dhanush in “The Gray Man”. The Tamil superstar gets top billing in the film along with Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, and Wagner Moura. Elsewhere, Dev Patel makes his directorial debut with “Monkey Man”, casting Indian actors Sobita Dhulipala and Sikander Kher alongside Sharlto Copley of “District 9” fame. ALSO READ: List Of Recent And Upcoming Web Series And Films, Based On Scams In India Also, if Priyanka has had a brisk career in Hollywood (roles in “A Kid Like Jake”, “Isn’t It Romantic”, and “We Can Be Heroes” have followed), Hrithik Roshan is said to have signed up with the US-based Gersh Agency. The gradual shift is best summed up in Adarsh Gourav’s line, in an interview with IANS a while back. “I feel this is my first international film and just being nominated alongside people like Sir Anthony Hopkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Chadwick Boseman — these people have been such a strong source of inspiration for me throughout my career — I feel a nomination is as good as a win for me,” Adarsh had said. The shift in focus towards Indian talent in the West seems more permanent this time. In the era of inclusivity, Brown is a good color to flaunt on the global screen. (IANS/SP)

Scientists May Detect Signs Of Extraterrestrial Life In 5 To 10 Years

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), to be launched this October, could feasibly detect ammonia around six gas dwarf planets after just a few orbits, thus detecting a potential signature of life on other planets in as little as 60 hours. Gas dwarf planets have the potential to foster life. Since none of these super-Earths or mini-Neptunes exist within our solar system, scientists struggle to determine whether their atmospheres contain ammonia and other potential signs of living things. “What really surprised me about the results is that we may realistically find signs of life on other planets in the next 5 to 10 years,” said Caprice Phillips, a graduate student at The Ohio State University.
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  He will share preliminary findings at a press conference during the 2021 APS April meeting. She and her team of scientists modeled how JWST instruments would respond to varying clouds and atmospheric conditions then produced a ranked list of where the telescope should search for life.” Humankind has contemplated the questions, ‘Are we alone? What is life? Is life elsewhere similar to us?'” said Phillips.
Gas dwarf planets have the potential to foster life. Pixabya
“My research suggests that for the first time, we have the scientific knowledge and technological capabilities to really begin to find the answers to these questions.”NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has survived all of the harsh conditions associated with a rocket launch to space, ahead of its October 2021 launch. ALSO READ: Raindrops Can Help Identify Potentially Habitable Planets Webb’s recent tests have validated that the fully assembled observatory will endure the deafening noise and the jarring shakes, rattles and vibrations that the observatory will experience during liftoff, according to NASA. The telescope is the world’s largest, most powerful, and complex space science telescope ever built by scientists. It is designed to help in solving the mysteries of our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mystifying structures and origins of our universe. (IANS/JC)

Afghanistan: Playing Music As New Method For Treatment Of Drug Addicts

Hundreds of drug addicts have recovered in the Jaghara Treatment Centre in Afghanistan’s Herat province since its establishment eight years ago. In addition to giving medicines to the patients, the treatment center also plays music and arranges a party twice every day. “The tune of music and melodies in the treatment center has inspired me to forget smoking drugs, and after recovery, I play music for others in the center to get cured,” Ibrahim Hamraz, a former addict, told Xinhua news agency. Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated. Hamra, 43, who used to smoke illicit drugs including heroin for 23 years, told Xinhua recently that he resorted to hashish and then to heroin when he was 20. The former drug addict said he received medical treatments in several rehabilitation centers over the past decade but all in vain.
Drug addicts
more than 3 million out of the country’s some 32.5 million population have reportedly been addicted, including many in the capital of Kabul. Wikimediacommons
“I have received medical treatments several times over the past decade and had given up smoking for 15 times but resumed drug smoking after a few weeks or a few months,” Hamraz said. But “it is more than nine months that I have never smoked drugs, neither heroin nor hashish after receiving treatment via playing music in Jaghara Treatment Centre”. Herat province with about 70,000 drug addicts, according to Abdul Zahir Atae, head of the center, would further suffer due to the increase in drug trafficking and its easy availability.”The price of some 1 g drugs mostly heroin in the past years was 350 afghani, but nowadays it is sold on streets at a price of 10-20 afghani,” Atae said, adding the low price and its availability in bulk have resulted in the growing number of drug addicts in the relatively peaceful province. ALSO READ: The Rise of Drug Addiction Among Youth Atae, who was an addict 32 years and recovered eight years ago, told Xinhua: “Usually, the staff at the center plays music for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon whenever the addicts feel the need for heroin, and after listening to music, they feel better.” Although there are no official statistics on the number of drug addicts in Afghanistan, more than 3 million out of the country’s some 32.5 million population have reportedly been addicted, including many in the capital of Kabul. (IANS/JC)

Are Two Masks Better Than One At Preventing COVID-19 Spread?

Scientists now report that wearing two masks can nearly double the effectiveness of filtering out SARS-CoV-2-sized particles, preventing them from reaching the wearer’s nose and mouth and causing Covid-19. The reason for the enhanced filtration isn’t so much adding layers of cloth but eliminating any gaps or poor-fitting areas of a face covering, according to the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. “The medical procedure masks are designed to have very good filtration potential based on their material, but the way they fit our faces isn’t perfect,” said Emily Sickbert-Bennett, associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine and lead author of the study.
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  To test the fitted filtration efficiency (FFE) of a range of face coverings, the researchers worked with James Samet and colleagues in the USEPA Human Studies Facility on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. There they filled a 10-foot by 10-foot stainless-steel exposure chamber with small salt particle aerosols and had researchers don combinations of masks to test how effective they were at keeping particles out of their breathing space.
Two masks
Generally, a procedure mask without altering the fit is about 40-60 percent effective at keeping Covid-19-sized particles out. Pixabay
By measuring particle concentration in the breathing space underneath the mask compared to that in the chamber, researchers determined the FFE.”We also had the researchers in the chamber undergo a series of range-of-motion activities to simulate the typical motions a person may do throughout their day, bending at the waist, talking, and looking left, right, up and down,” said Phillip Clapp, an inhalation toxicologist in the UNC School of Medicine. ALSO READ: Here’s Why Wearing A Mask Insufficient To Hold COVID At Bay? According to their findings, the baseline fitted filtration efficiency (FFE) of a face covering differs from person to person, due to each person’s unique face and mask fit. Generally, a procedure mask without altering the fit is about 40-60 percent effective at keeping Covid-19-sized particles out. A cloth mask is about 40 percent effective. When layered over procedure masks, cloth masks improve fit by eliminating gaps and holding the procedure face coverings closer to the face, consistently covering the nose and mouth. When a procedure mask is worn over a cloth mask, FFE improved by 16 percent.”We’ve found that wearing two loosely fitted masks will not give you the filtration benefit that one, snug-fitting procedure face coverings will,” Sickbert-Bennett said. (IANS/JC)

Indian-Origin Scientist Identifies Genes That Combat Covid-19 Infection

A team of US scientists, led by an Indian-origin researcher, has identified a set of human genes that fight SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes Covid-19. According to Sumit K. Chanda, professor, and director of the Immunity and Pathogenesis Programme at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, the scientists have gained new insights into how the virus exploits the human cells it invades. “We are still searching for its Achille’s Heel so that we can develop optimal antivirals,” Chanda said in a paper published in the journal Molecular Cell. Knowing which genes help control viral infection can greatly assist researchers’ understanding of factors that affect disease severity and also suggest possible therapeutic options.
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  The genes in question are related to interferons, the body’s frontline virus fighters. Soon after the start of the pandemic, clinicians found that a weak interferon response to SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in some of the more severe cases of Covid-19.
As a next step, the researchers will look at the biology of SARS-CoV-2 variants that continue to evolve and threaten vaccine efficacy. Pixabay
This knowledge led Chanda and his collaborators to search for the human genes that are triggered by interferons, known as interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), which act to limit SARS-CoV-2 infection.”We found that 65 ISGs controlled SARS-CoV-2 infection, including some that inhibited the virus’ ability to enter cells, some that suppressed manufacture of the RNA that is the virus’s lifeblood, and a cluster of genes that inhibited assembly of the virus,” Chanda explained. ALSO READ: Authentic Dietary Guidelines To Withstand Covid-19 “What was also of great interest was the fact that some of the ISGs exhibited control across unrelated viruses, such as seasonal flu, West Nile and HIV, which leads to AIDS”.The team also identified eight ISGs that inhibited both SARS-CoV-1 and CoV-2 replication in the subcellular compartment responsible for protein packaging, suggesting this vulnerable site could be exploited to clear a viral infection. “This is important information, but we still need to learn more about the biology of the virus and investigate if genetic variability within these ISGs correlates with Covid-19 severity,” said Laura Martin-Sancho, a senior postdoctoral associate in the Chanda lab. As a next step, the researchers will look at the biology of SARS-CoV-2 variants that continue to evolve and threaten vaccine efficacy. (IANS/JC)

6 Super Foods To Optimize Your Thyroid

The Thyroid hormone is essential for normal development, differentiation, and metabolic balance. It is well established that your thyroid hormone status correlates with your body weight and energy expenditure. Derangements in this mechanism can result in conditions like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroiditis where one can experience several health concerns like hair fall/balding, constipation, weight gain/weight loss, irregular menstrual cycles, fatigue, sluggishness, etc, says Dr. Sharanya Srinivas Shastry, a dietitian at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Koramangala Bangalore. Hence, a well-balanced diet consisting of iodine and essential amino acids (protein of good quality in the right amount) with adequate exercise and regular medication makes sure that you have a healthy, tension-free thyroid. The expert shares a list of top foods to take for thyroid issues.
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  Saffron Overnight soaked saffron if consumed on waking up is very good for mood swings in most people who have thyroid issues. It gives relief from abdominal cramps or PMS and is a promising anti-obesity drug as in most cases with thyroid abnormalities, people tend to put on weight. The best way to have it is a homemade Kesari bath with Vegetable Upma in order to get the best amino acids along with good flavor/taste or a glass of saffron milk where you’re getting your calcium and protein too.
Overnight soaked saffron if consumed on waking up is very good for mood swings in most people who have thyroid issues. Pixabay
Banana (flower/plantain/stem) A superfood that comes with absolute zero wastage which can be used in any form be it sambar/curry/raita/subzi or can be eaten as a fruit itself. Hence, a banana a day keeps thyroid issues at bay as it is a naturally rich source of iodine that is essential for the activation/conversion of the T4 to T3 in the body. (A few slices of mango/jackfruit every day during the season is also good for your thyroid) Horse gram/Baked Fish Horse gram is a very important crop grown in South India and also in a few states like Chhattisgarh and Bihar. It is eaten in the form of dal most often is a rich source of protein, iron, zinc which helps in the natural conversion of the inactive T4 to active T3 to produce TSH. Thus, include it in the form of a rasam/dal/soup at least twice a week. Oven-baked fish, rich in selenium, Omega-3 Used sparingly (once/twice a week, preferably not consumed at night) gives the best amino acid profile along with micronutrients required for a healthy thyroid.
It is well established that your thyroid hormone status correlates with your body weight and energy expenditure. Pixabay
Khichdi or Pongal Your gut health decides how healthy your thyroid can be according to the latest studies. The gut is another location where T4 (inactive form) is converted to T3 (active form) and any imbalance in the gut bacteria (called dysbiosis) leads to constipation/bloating or gastric problems thereby disrupting your metabolic rate. Therefore, include a khichdi/Pongal at least twice/week in order to keep your gut healthy thus giving you a tension-free thyroid. ALSO READ: Covid19 Can Cause Inflammation Of The Thyroid Gland Whole Grains with rasam/dal/seafood Whole grains are rich in Iodine, Copper, Magnesium along with the B group vitamins which make sure that you’ve good energy levels throughout the day. Hence single polished/hand pound rice or whole wheat atta when eaten with traditionally cooked sambar/rasam/dal/sabzi / fresh seafood gives you the best combination of protein- fiber-selenium and carbohydrate giving you a balanced thyroid. So, go local, regional, and seasonal. (IANS/JC)

Here’s How ‘Adultism’ Affects A Child’s Inner Self

“You are not old enough to understand” is a phrase likely to ring a bell for millions of adults, adolescents, and children, across India. While the dismissive statement may seem innocuous at first, a deeper dive into the almost universally accepted, yet largely unspoken, belief uncovers a major daily hurdle faced by children today, called ‘adultism, believes Sakshi, a rights-based NGO. “At some point in our lives, we have all likely experienced a certain degree of discrimination in the form of adultism and had our decisions and life choices questioned based on our actual or perceived age. In other words, the persistent pattern of children and youth being denied the right to exercise self-determination is called adultism.” Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated. “Adultism does not suggest that age is a completely irrelevant social identity, but rather that actual or perceived age is often used to restrict a child or a young person from making their own choices. It unfairly gives adults the power to decide most features and preferences about young peoples’ lives, such as how they dress, or how they behave or socialize, without a deeper understanding of the competencies and capacities that each young person possesses. Making matters worse for children, one of the country’s most overlooked demographics, is that adultism festers out of social stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination based on actual or perceived age. The choices being made for children and adolescents by adults are, therefore, further restricted by a multitude of social evils such as casteism, sexism, class inequality, racism, and ableism,” says the NGO. eSakshi’ is a capacity-building organization working towards systemic interventions for the prevention of gender-based violence and child sexual abuse. Adultism has emerged out of the cultural, social, and political construction of childhood and often mimics other systems of oppression through at least one of the five forms of oppression in exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence. Adults often believe themselves to be the role models of children, the arbiters of right and wrong, while somehow also holding the belief that they do not owe children an acknowledgment of harm caused against them by adults or an apology either, asserts eSakshi’. What’s more, is the general societal acceptance amongst adults that children cannot hold adults accountable for their actions when harm has been done against them.
On a societal level, we must establish that care, guidance, and love are what we owe to our children. Pixabay
It adds: herein lies the problem, where the negative effects of adultism really begin to take a stronghold on a child’s life; when adults systematically do not allow children to participate in meaningful decisions, their sense of self-worth deteriorates. Children have boundaries that are often ignored, and when children cannot hold adults accountable, it can be detrimental to their self-worth and can even lead them to doubt their power in asserting their rights to speaking up and out against those who harm them well into adulthood. Even though the problem of adultism is so deeply rooted and ingrained in our culture and society, there are still solutions to combat this and offer a path to meaningful long-term change. On a societal level, we must establish that care, guidance, and love are what we owe to our children. This can be quantified by how much children trust their guardians to care for them when they have been harmed by their guardians or by others, says the NGO. On a parental and individualistic level, communication is vital in ensuring children have an ideal platform to express themselves. In order to take tangible steps forward, parents should reach out to their children and reflect upon their responses to the following questions: Will you share with me a time when you were trying to express your thoughts and feelings and I did not listen? Are there things that I do that hurt your feelings? Did I ever do something that was unfair to you? ALSO READ: Pets Helped Children Manage Stress And Loneliness In The Pandemic Furthermore, it is important for adults to understand that they need to allow children to hold them accountable if and when adults have wronged them. Listening and paying attention to the feelings and opinions of children is helpful as it not only allows them to express themselves, but also holds adults, parents, or guardians accountable for behavior that is harmful, adds the NGO. This also significantly reduces the possibilities for further violence being perpetrated against children and creates an environment and a community of accountability, where adults can watch out for other adults who may, intentionally or not, be harming children in the process, it concludes. (IANS/JC)

Hardballing: The New Dating Trend For Women

Finally, a dating trend most women can get on board with! What is ‘hardballing’ you ask? The term means “dating like a CEO” and not wasting time on people that can not give you what you are looking for. When you are single and searching for love, sometimes the fantasy of wanting to be in a relationship can blind you into thinking that the connection you are nurturing is leading to commitment. We see all the signs of someone not wanting to commit, yet we stick around in hope that one day they might.
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  We don’t allow ourselves to acknowledge that there are many other people out there who we can get to know. Instead, we get attached and fixated on that one person who is stringing us along. This fabulous new trend should be coined as the �ultimate rule for dating. ‘Hardballing’ is a concept where you are not afraid to say what exactly it is that you are looking for (commitment, long-term relationship) and won’t waste time if you are not receiving that back. It is the confidence one has to go after what they want.
We see all the signs of someone not wanting to commit, yet we stick around in hope that one day they might. Pixabay
A lot of the time we know this but are too afraid to come off clingy, needy, or freak someone out. However, we don’t stop to question that while it might be easy for people to call someone that, why is it that knowing what you want has to be condoned? Thanks to this new term, we are now encouraged to not care about how we might be viewed and go after what we want. If anyone is going to label you negatively, then they were never right for you in the first place. ALSO READ: Old-Fashioned Trends Make A Comeback In Today’s Dating World ‘Hardball players’ do not waste time with a flirtation that isn’t going anywhere. They date like �bosses’ and stand up for what they know they deserve. Dating is a concept that is constantly evolving. It is important to stand your ground and go after what you desire. Like I always say, being yourself and knowing who you are, allows you to gain clarity on how to respect your boundaries. And, if you believe in true love and the magic it brings, then settling for less, will never be an option. (IANS/JC)

Touring Into America’s History Via Postal Stamp Exhibitions

Virtual mini-exhibitions that explore America’s history through the unique lens of postal history and stamps are currently online for view on the website of Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. The exhibits present holistic details on themes like colonial times, American sports, influential female figures, Native American communities, American art, Christmas-inspired postcards, and more. Stamps also illuminate what we value as a people and culture, and the National Postal Museum’s exhibition �Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: People, Places, and Events on Stamps’ shed new light on the many contributions of Hispanic Americans and Latinos to the exploration, culture, growth, and defense of the United States. The virtual exhibit is in English and Spanish. Another one showcases the black experience in the United States.
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  Titled �Women on Stamps’, a virtual exhibition presents a series of four focusing on the accomplishments of women featured on stamps. In Part 1, exhibits include those on the efforts of pioneering women and early government leaders who entered previously unexplored territories – from the frontier to the Senate floor. For the second part, those who pioneered in the fields of health, education, science, philanthropy, aviation, and athletics have been featured. The third and fourth parts respectively feature women who have made significant contributions to the visual arts and literature; and to the performing arts.
Titled �Women on Stamps’, a virtual exhibition presents a series of four focusing on the accomplishments of women featured on stamps. Pixabay
From the early colonial period to the present day, American artists have captured their interpretation of the American experience using different forms of art. These pieces of fine art have been adapted to portray famous American individuals, events, and geography on postage stamps. Postage stamps depicting fine art have become another looking glass into this country and its many themes. This stamp featuring Lincoln was issued on April 15 1965 by the Republic of Mail to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s death (Source – National Postal Museum)This stamp featuring Lincoln was issued on April 15 1965 by the Republic of Mail to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s death (Source – National Postal Museum). ALSO READ: Japan Releases Postage Stamps to Honor Four Indian Yoga Legends Titled “Lincoln from Postmaster to President”, a detailed exhibition shows former American President Abraham Lincoln’s journey in stamps – which gets even more interesting as his first civil service position began at the age of twenty-four as a postmaster in 1833. The exhibition titled �Long May It Wave’ focuses on the journey of the American flag, which began over 200 years ago in 1776. The flag’s design has changed over time, reflecting the evolving composition of the United States. The most recent modification to the flag was depicted on a stamp issued July 4, 1960. This is the first stamp to show the American flag with all fifty stars, celebrating the addition of Hawaii as the fiftieth state in the United States of America. (IANS/JC)

7 Amazing Cocktails You Must Try This Summer

As the country goes back into lockdown, beat the blues and the summer heat by sipping on some delicious homemade cocktails. One would think, summer is all about sunshine, tan lines, tall drinks, and if you’re lucky, a vacation or two, but as we stay home to stay safe, keep the spirits high by experimenting at your home bar. Diageo India’s DIY cocktail recipes, by Brand Ambassador Meghana Balaji, help you pick from your favorite tipple, whether it’s � Gin, Vodka, Scotch, or a Baileys! A perfect way to enjoy a sundowner is with a classic cocktail by your side during summers.
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  Gordon’s G&T Ingredients: 60ml Gordon’s London Dry 150-180ml Fever-Tree Tonic 2 dashes Bitters Mosambi Wheel, Sage leaves garnish Ice: Cubed Ice Glassware: Copa style glassware Method: As a prep, chill your glass, the tonic & the gin far ahead of time. In your chilled glass, pour in 60ml of Gordon’s London Dry Gin. Top up with ice, until ice peaks through the glass like a mini iceberg. Start to pour in 180ml of cold tonic water, you will notice the ice starts to melt. Top with more ice to keep the carbonation strong, avoid over diluting your drink with a mixer, and reduce the melt. Finish pouring in your tonic water as desired. Dress with2-3 dashes of bitters, and garnish with a mosambi wheel and sage leaves. Andalusian Summer with Tanqueray London Dry Ingredients: 45ml Tanqueray London Dry 20ml Chamomile Honey 20ml Fresh Orange Juice 15ml Lime Juice Soda to Top Up Orange Wheel Glassware: Copa De Balon, Wine Glass Method: Take highball, add 60ml Tanqueray London Dry, and all other ingredients until lime juice. Top up with ice, until ice peaks through the glass, stir and cool your drink down. Place your orange wedge against the glass for a clean garnish look. Add more ice and then top up ever so slightly with crisp soda. Dress with2-3 dashes of bitters if you like!
Place your orange wedge against the glass for a clean garnish look. Pixabay
Ketel Mule Ingredients: 45 ml Ketel One Vodka 100 ml Ginger Ale Lime Wedges Mint Julienned Ginger Glassware: Mule Mug Method: Lightly muddle a couple of ginger juliennes in your mule mug, Juice half a lime, Add 45 ml Ketel One, top with ice until ice peaks through the mug Top with crisp, fresh, superbly cold ginger ale Agitate a sprig of mint on the back of your hand. Garnish with more lime wedges, said mint and ginger juliennes. Melon & Mint Ingredients: 60 ml Smirnoff No.21 Vodka 5 Watermelon Wedges 3 Lime Wedges 15ml Sweet & Sour (a mix of sugar & lime) Fresh Rosemary Soda Glassware: A highball glass Method: In a highball glass, muddle watermelon (de-seeded) and 60ml of Smirnoff No.21 Vodka. Lightly muddle in the lime wedges. Don’t go in too hard, or the lemon oils make the drink bitter. Pour in 15ml of sweet & sour. Add cubed ice to fill in the glass completely. Add soda water until halfway; you’ll see the ice melt. Wiggle your bar spoon right to the bottom of the glass, hitting the base, give it a proper stir Top with more ice and a touch of soda. Agitate a sprig of mint on the back of your hand. Garnish with more lime wedges, said mint, and a watermelon wedge on the rim. Scotch needs to be in your arsenal of tasty summer drams. Follow along for sweet surprises!
Garnish with more lime wedges, said mint, and a watermelon wedge on the rim. Pixabay
Johnnie Berry Crush Ingredients: 45ml Johnnie Walker Black Label 10ml Lime Juice Ripe Raspberries / Strawberries Soda Water to top up Mint to garnish Glassware: An Old-fashioned glass Method: Take an old-fashioned glass, add 3-4 strawberries and a sprig of mint Use a muddler to gently crush the berries & mint Pour in 45ml of Johnnie Walker Black Label Add crushed ice to the top and add soda water until halfway Wiggle your bar spoon right to the bottom of the glass, hitting the base, give it a proper stir Top with soda Agitate your sprig of mint by slapping it against your palm Garnish with mint and slurp it up! That’s a fabulous way to go highballing’ into the weekend! Tips: Adding all the soda and then giving it a stir will cause fizziness to reduce and take away the beautiful gradation in your drink. Use a tall glass as a Collins (which fits more liquid) to further dilute your drink with soda if desired. The colder the soda, the crisper the fizz. Ice is one part, but also make sure your soda is fresh off the refrigerator. ALSO READ: Here are Cocktail Pairings With Food for you to Experiment Citrus Got Real Ingredients: 45ml Black & White Scotch and Whisky 60ml Fresh Orange Juice 10ml Fresh Lime Lemonade tops up Garnish Fresh basil Glassware: An old-fashioned glass Method: Take an old-fashioned glass, pour in 45ml of Black & White Scotch, 60ml of Orange Juice, and 10ml of Lime juice. Add ice to the top and add lemonade until halfway Wiggle your bar spoon right to the bottom of the glass, hitting the base, give it a proper stir Top with more ice and a touch of lemonade Agitate basil by slapping it against your palm or tear into large chunks. Garnish with delight! And your Black & White Scotch and Whisky citrus highball just got real! And finally, a bottle that deserves to have a forever home in your chiller. Bailey’s On Ice Ingredients: 60ml Baileys Crushed Ice Coffee Dusting 30ml Dark Roast Espresso (optional) Glassware: An old-fashioned glass Method: Fill to the top of the glass with crushed ice. Allow the glass to cool and pour in the 60ml of Bailey’s on top. Fill further with more crushed ice to keep it from melting too quickly. Espresso fans could also pour in 30ml dark roast espresso for that bitter note. Dust with instant coffee. Enjoy. (IANS/JC)

The IOS Game Secretly Turns Into A Casino App: Report

App developer Kosta Eleftheriou has found that an iPhone app posed as a children’s game secretly turned into a cryptocurrency-funded casino in Turkey. The game called Jungle Run, now apparently pulled by Apple, for kids aged 4 and up, but, if you use a VPN or access the app using an IP from Turkey, it unlocks an online casino, reports UberGizmo. “This @AppStore app pretends to be a silly platformer game for children 4+, but if I set my VPN to Turkey and relaunch it becomes an online casino that doesn’t even use Apple’s IAP,” Eleftheriou tweeted. The developer points out since Apple advertises the App Store as a place that users can trust, people wouldn’t necessarily think twice about downloading this app. Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated. Eleftheriou claims that the app remained in the App Store for months and even had its updates approved by Apple. Earlier in 2021, Eleftheriou pointed out the number of scam apps on the App Store affecting his business. His claims indicated that scam apps could steal his ideas and promote themselves using his screenshots and videos. ALSO READ: Top iOS 13 Features That Light Up Your Smartphone And Internet Experience After allegedly running into roadblocks during development that let the competition get ahead, he is now suing Apple for damages, the report said. He has since used his Twitter account to highlight other scam apps that made it into the App Store. (IANS/JC)

These People Lived In Airports For Months And Years

By- Khushi Bisht Around 3 a.m., every airport’s departure lounge would be filled with sleeping people. Can you imagine having to go through the same thing each day for weeks, months, or even years? That is precisely what the individuals mentioned below had to do. Aditya Singh, 36, was detained by local authorities after spending at least three months in the protected area of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Because of the coronavirus epidemic, he was so terrified to fly that he ended up residing in the airport for months undetected. Throughout this time, he depended on strangers’ generosity to buy him food, slept in the terminals, and used the numerous restrooms. Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what’s happening around the world. All was going swimmingly until two United Airlines employees questioned Singh and demanded him to show his credentials. He motioned to a badge, but it was supposedly the property of an operations manager who declared it missing in October.
Aditya Singh. Twitter
Employees from the airline dialled 911 and Singh was apprehended by police. According to the investigation, he was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass to a prohibited area of an airport and felony stealing. The main mystery here is how security officers at O’Hare, one of the busiest airports in the world, could have overlooked someone staying in the restricted area of the airport? Well, it’s not difficult to live in airports as airports have much of the essential necessities for life, such as food, water, toilets, and shelter. Let us now discuss about some of the people who have been discovered living in the airports. These people were stuck in airports for months, even years, due to visa and entry issues, a lack of legal papers, or just that they ran out of money. They could only watch and wait as millions of travellers fly through the airport, on their way to vacation or back home to caring families.
Picture of Merhan Karimi Nasseri taken at the airport in 2005. Wikimedia Commons
Mehran Karimi Nasseri: For over 17 years, this Iranian man resided at France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport. From 1988 to 2006, he resided at Terminal 1. He said that he was expelled from Iran and that his papers were stolen when he was travelling to the United Kingdom. Since he was unable to provide a passport to British immigration authorities, he was forced to return to France. His time at the airport ended when he was hospitalised and then transferred to Paris. Sanjay Shah: The Kenyan man was stranded in Nairobi Airport for 13 months after attempting to reach the Uk on a British Overseas Resident passport.He was denied entry and was forced to fly to Nairobi. He began staying in the airport as a kind of protest against his inability to reach the United Kingdom. After months of waiting, Shah was eventually granted a full British passport, allowing him to return to the UK. ALSO READ: NASA’s Noise-Reduction Tech to Make Quieter Airports a Reality Mohammed Al Bahish: He is a Palestinian refugee from Iraq. He left for Almaty, Kazakhstan. He only wished to marry the mother of his unborn baby. Sadly, when archives demonstrating his refugee status disappeared and his visas terminated, neither the Kazakhs nor the Turks would permit him in. He was eventually able to spend the next 150 days in a small 3m x 2m lock-up. He wasn’t even permitted to use the restroom by himself. Finally, Finland concluded that no individual could survive under such conditions and gave him refuge. Being stranded and staying in airports for days may sound unusual, but it is not unheard of. There have been several more that have gone through the same ordeal. Airport authorities, for the most part, have attempted to assist these voluntary tenants.

Authentic Dietary Guidelines To Withstand Covid-19

 Going beyond precautions and vaccinations, doctors and the World Health Organization (WHO) have advised that proper nutrition and hydration would be key in fighting the second wave of Covid-19. This is a throwback on some essential ancient wisdom. 2500 years ago, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, hit the nail right on the head when he said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

In January, the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad had entered into an agreement with Arya Vaidya Sala (AVS), Kottakkal to check for the efficacy of ayurvedic formulations in the fight against coronavirus. AVS will provide standardized Ayurveda formulations, and the CCMB will test them on the lab-grown coronavirus strains in the cell culture system, and check for their anti-viral efficacy. Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated. According to WHO, people who eat a well-balanced dietary plan tend to be healthier with stronger immune systems and lower risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. It goes on to add that one should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein, and antioxidants for body needs. A balanced dietary plan helps in building a strong immune system that can help withstand any assault by the virus. In the current situation, it is necessary to be aware of the specific types of food that can improve our immune system in order to combat Covid-19.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Pixabay
Here are some professional and authentic dietary guidelines to withstand Covid-19. * Eat fruits like guava, apple, banana, strawberry, cantaloupe melon, grapefruit, pineapple, papaya, orange, Longman fruit, blackcurrant, pummelo, daily, with a serving size of two cups (4 servings). * Eat fresh vegetables like green bell peppers, garlic, ginger, kale, lime, coriander (dried), broccoli, green chili pepper) 2.5 cups of vegetables (5 servings) legumes (beans and lentils). * Eat whole grains and nuts, 180 gms of grains like unprocessed maize, oats, wheat, millet, brown rice, or roots such as yam, potato, taro, or cassava. * Use nuts like almonds, coconut, and pistachio. * Red meat can be eaten once or twice per week, and poultry two to three times per week. Use foods from animal sources (e.g. fish, fish, eggs, and milk) and 160 gms of meat and beans.
Red meat can be eaten once or twice per week. Pixabay
* For snacks, choose fresh fruits and raw vegetables rather than foods that are high in sugar, salt, or fat. Avoid irregular snacking. * Limit the salt intake to 5 gms a day. * Consume unsaturated fats. These are found in avocado, fish, nuts, soy, olive oil, canola, corn oil, and sunflower rather than saturated fats found in butter, fatty meat, coconut and palm oils, cheese, ghee, and cream. * Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day. It helps to transport nutrients in the blood, gets rid of waste, and regulates body temperature.
Drink enough water every day. Pixabay
* Avoid all fizzy, carbonated, concentrated juices, and all drinks which contain sugar. * Maintain a healthy lifestyle of exercise, meditation, and regular sleep. Adequate sleep will help to support immune functioning. * Eat at home to avoid contact with other people and try to reduce the chance of being exposed to Covid-19. * When using dried or canned fruits and vegetables, choose varieties without added sugar or salt. Besides this, the following steps need to be adopted for cooking: * Wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating. Wash, rinse, and disinfect objects and surfaces every time before and after use. ALSO READ: Debunking Myths Related To Building Immunity Against Covid-19 * Keep cooked and raw foods separate, as it would prevent the harmful microbes from raw foods from spreading to cooked foods. * Use different chopping boards and utensils for cooked and raw foods to prevent cross-contamination. * Do not overcook vegetables as it leads to the loss of important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. * Make sure the food is prepared and served at acceptable temperatures. (IANS/SP)

Is Modi Era The End Of Congress?

A timely and comprehensive political critique of India’s ‘grand old party, the Indian National Congress, author Amit Bagaria’s new book “Congress-Mukt Bharat: Is the Modi Era the End of Congress?” is a compelling and multi-dimensional take on the political, ideological and structural downfall of this 135-year-old party and the ascent to power of the Narendra Modi-led BJP.

Overall, it aims to ask and answer the question: Will Congress now be relegated to the history books? Taking a leaf from India’s history and crunching important data, the book, published by Garuda Prakashan, breaks down crucial themes like Congress helmsmanship, family-controlled party leadership, breaking away of senior Congress leaders, loss of vote share, and the Congress-led UPA’s defeat in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated. “There is already talk of an anti-BJP alliance led by regional parties in preparation for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, similar to 1977, 1989, and 1996. Some regional leaders were quoted as saying that the Congress can no longer be the big brother’ of the opposition, and will have to play second fiddle to regional parties in an anti-BJP front. Are we truly headed towards a Congress-Mukt Bharat by 2024,” writes Bagaria in the book “Congress-Mukt Bharat: Is the Modi Era the End of Congress? The opening chapters speak of the Congress party’s corruption. The fourth chapter quotes former bureaucrat RVS Mani’s book on how Congress falsely spread the narrative of Hindu Terror and Saffron Terror. It includes spine-chilling details on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
Book “Congress-Mukt Bharat: Is the Modi Era the End of Congress? IANS
The next three chapters analyze the 2019 elections in great detail, followed by one on how the Congress claim of being the enatural party of choice’ for voters is completely disproved by the results of the last seven Lok Sabha elections. Two chapters analyze Congress performance in each state since Sonia Gandhi became the party president, and how the Left Front fared since 1989. The next nine chapters are about Narendra Modi, his successes, his failures, and the work he has done in 80 months. The longest chapter, divided into 14 sections, details the successes and failures of India’s 14 Prime Ministers. The author has given points on a scale of 0 to 10 to each PM, and two Congress PM’s, PV Narasimha Rao and Lal Bahadur Shastri are among the Top 4. ALSO READ: World Hindu Congress: RSS Chief says that Hindus Don’t Aspire to be Dominant In his in-depth analysis of the Modi 2.0 ministry, the author gives only 6.56 out of 10. Next is an interesting chapter on revamp of the Central ministries and the author’s choice of ministers if he were to be the PM. “Is Congress Becoming Anti-India?” and “The End of Congress?” are concluding chapters. The Appendix lays out eAgenda 2024′ for India. “Amit has once again crafted a book, which is a testimony to his strenuous research, felicitous writing, and erudition. The book covers PM Modi’s innovative and ambitious foreign policy, which is my subject matter. The author has carried out this task with admirable skill and efficiency,” says TP Sreenivasan, IFS, Former Ambassador of India to Austria and Slovenia and Former Permanent Representative of India to the UN. (IANS/SP)

Would Lack of Fresh TV Content Spell Drop in Ad-Revenue Amid COVID-19 Crisis?

The decision of the Maharashtra government to stop all shooting impacts TV shows acutely, as compared to films or OTT series. The world of soaps, after all, needs a steady flow of content. If shooting stops, channels are forced to run repeats. In turn that has direct impact on advertising revenue. Many shows, realising the threat of that scenario are already shifting shooting base outside Maharashtra. “Hamari Wali Good News” is going to be shot at Manesar in Haryana. “Kundali Bhagya”, “Kumkum Bhagya”, “Qurbaan Hua” and “Apna Time Bhi Ayega” move to Goa. “Teri Meri ikk Jindri” is shifting base to Jaipur while “Kyun Rishton Mein Katti Batti” is moving to Surat for now. The scene is similar for many reality shows. According to sources, “Indian Idol” has an episode bank for two weeks right now and “Super Dancer: Chapter 4” has a bank for a week. Confirming that his show is shifting base, lead actor Siddhaanth Vir Surryavanshi of “Kyun Rishton Mein Katti Batti” says the entire team was tested for Covid on Wednesday and will be traveling on Friday. “This was unexpected and the entire storyline is being reworked overnight. So, we are not sure what it will be but the story will definitely move outdoors,” he says, adding: “We will be moving to a resort and will be in a bio bubble. We will be following protocol.” Please Follow NewsGram on Facebook To Get Latest Updates! Siddhaanth adds they are mentally prepared to stay for a month. “Looking at how last year turned out. We are mentally prepared to be out for a month. I am going to miss my family and the comfort of home, but this is also a good time to bond with the team,” he says. Budgets will be impacted, of course. According to experts, the cost of shooting an episode per day comes to Rs 1-1.5 lakh minimum. In this case, it could go up to Rs 2-2.5 lakh per day. Trade analyst Atul Mohan says that due to this gap, producers might be forced to run old content, which might lead to advertisers consider the idea of backing out. “Advertisers book slots a month in advance, sometimes they also do so for the entire season. So, they might stop their ads and agree to continue the contract once the fresh episodes are on air. Channels will lose money from ads. Of course, they will generate money from their web channels,” he says. Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar dissects the situation bluntly: “If they are not shooting, then they are not earning. And who said this will last only for 15 days?” While they continue to be worried about how their shows will survive, the actors also feel that the step has been taken in everyone’s interest. Actor Prateik Chaudhary, who was last seen in Paramavatar Shri Krishna, says that this time off would give him a chance to work on himself.
The decision of the Maharashtra government to stop all shooting impacts TV shows acutely, as compared to films or OTT series. The world of soaps, after all, needs a steady flow of content. Pixabay
“For an actor, shooting is not the only thing he needs to consider as work, I guess being an actor is a 24/7 job. You need to work on your craft, work on your fitness, and many things. When I don’t have a shoot or work, rather than cribbing or being negative, I am focusing on myself. I am really using this time in many things like doing my home workout, working on my acting craft, watching a lot of movies and series,” he says. Actor Mrunal Jain says that this is the time for actors to look at other types of content. “We were not expecting this at all and now this has led to a lot of uncertainty as to what will happen. I hope that the shows are able to survive as I am sure not many have large episode banks. As for me, I am at home, but I am regularly shooting content for social media. I feel this is the time that we can reconnect with our fans,” he says. ALSO READ: What Is India Reading, Amidst The Second Wave Of The Pandemic? Kunal Jaisingh ends on an optimistic note. “We just started shooting, and somehow we really sensed looking at the situation that lockdown can be imposed. Even after so many precautions and after following all Covid-19 guidelines so many actors and people on set tested positive. Hope the phase of lockdown lasts for a small time and we resume our work the soonest. We are already missing the shoot vibes,” he sums up the situation. (IANS/KR)

Indian Women Entrepreneurs Likely To Witness 90 Percent Growth

Businesses owned by women entrepreneurs in India are likely to witness a 90 percent growth in the coming five years, compared to the US (50 percent) and the UK (24 percent), according to EdelGive Foundation Report. The study, conducted across 13 states, focuses on the challenges, impact on health, socio-economic security, and family well-being outcomes of women entrepreneurs, providing a complete overview of women entrepreneurs and the ecosystem within which they thrive.

Around 80 percent of women, from semi-urban and rural India, feel a significant improvement in their socio-economic and cultural status after starting an enterprise. Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what’s happening around the world. “Women in India are leading a cultural revolution — building their businesses, paving the way for future aspiring women entrepreneurs. Their role is pivotal in enhancing the economic growth of the country, employment generation, and industrialization,” Vidya Shah, Executive Chairperson of EdelGive Foundation, said in a statement. ALSO READ: Women’s Empowerment Showcased Through Dairy Sector In UP “The adoption of policies and implementation of schemes that provide appropriate training, incentivization, economic and cultural recognition is key to the success of women entrepreneurs in India,” Shah added. However, there are still significant gaps in terms of financial knowledge and resources available to women entrepreneurs along with marketing, production, technological and socio-cultural challenges faced by them. Despite several government schemes and policies supporting women’s entrepreneurship, the awareness is quite low — only 11 percent. Thus, the uptake is just 1 percent, the report showed. Lack of awareness about financial aid and schemes, non-availability of required documents, perception of the process to use these schemes as ‘complex’, and have no assets to put on the mortgage, were some of the inhibiting factors behind this. (IANS/SP)

Study: People Who Have Recovered From Covid-19 Require Only One Vaccine Dose

People who have recovered from Covid-19 require only one vaccine dose. A second jab is important for those who have not had Covid-19 to reach strong immunity, suggests a study. The study, led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in the US, found that Covid survivors had a robust antibody response after the first mRNA vaccine dose, but the little immune benefit was seen after the second dose. On the other hand, those who did not have Covid-19 — called Covid naive — did not have a full immune response until after receiving their second vaccine dose, reinforcing the importance of completing the two recommended doses for achieving strong levels of immunity. Two doses are optimal to induce strong antibody and B cell responses in patients who are immunologically naive for SARS-CoV-2, and antibodies induced by the vaccination could protect against the more infectious and deadly South African variant, said the researchers. Follow NewsGram on Twitter to stay updated about the World news. The findings, published in the journal Science Immunology, provide more insight on the underlying immunobiology of mRNA vaccines, which could help shape future vaccine strategies. “These results are encouraging for both short- and long-term vaccine efficacy, and this adds to our understanding of the mRNA vaccine immune response through the analysis of memory B cells,” said E John Wherry, director of the Penn Institute of Immunology.
A second jab is important for those who have not had Covid-19. Pixabay
The human immune response to vaccines and infections results in two major outcomes — the production of antibodies that provide rapid immunity and the creation of memory B cells, which assist in long-term immunity. ALSO READ: New Covid19 Strains And Precautions To Be Taken For the study, the team included 44 healthy individuals who received either the BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna mRNA Covid-19 vaccine. Of this cohort, 11 had a prior Covid-19 infection. Blood samples were collected for deep immune analyses four times prior to and after vaccine doses. They confirmed that the mRNA vaccines induced antibodies that could neutralize the D614C and B1351 variants. These responses peaked one week after the second vaccine dose in naive patients but peaked two weeks after the first dose in recovered patients, with similar patterns in B cell responses for both groups. (IANS/SP)

Being a Content Creator Does Not Gurantee You Film Roles: Shibani Bedi

Shibani Bedi, who is known widely as Instagram’s Prabha Didi, was recently seen in the feature film “Flight”. The online sensation, who is trying to carve her space in Bollywood, says having lakhs of followers on social media does not automatically guarantee film roles. “One presumes that one’s presence online helps to get roles but I have realized that as far as Bollywood or acting is concerned, all bets are off. No rules apply. If that had to happen then all influencers with one or two billion followings would become Shah Rukh Khan or Kareena Kapoor,” she tells IANS.

Please Follow NewsGram on Facebook To Get Latest Updates! The Delhi-based actress adds: “I think there is a clear demarcation in the acting world, where nobody is impressed by your presence online. You have to prove your mettle and hustle in the right direction so that you are considered an actor more than a YouTuber or an Instagram person.”
Shibani Bedi
Shibani Bedi, who is known widely as Instagram’s Prabha Didi, was recently seen in the feature film “Flight”. The online sensation, who is trying to carve her space in Bollywood, says having lakhs of followers on social media does not automatically guarantee film roles. IANS
“I don’t know what particularly works for people to get into OTT platforms and I know that if you are a good actor and you crack an audition, your online presence helps. Channels narrow down to taking you as opposed to a social media celebrity, but as I said there are no rules, sometimes they actually prefer not taking popular faces as long as you are a good actor,” says Shibani, who has been seen in films like “No One Killed Jessica” and “Rang De Basanti”. ALSO READ: Biggest North-South Collaborations Coming Up In Mainstream Indian Cinema “Another thing is that OTT doesn’t have big budgets, so if they are getting a big celebrity, everyone else who they want should be within a budget range, which again becomes one of the markers to pick popular faces,” says the actress, who is currently working on her next yet-to-be-announced project. (IANS/KR)

What Is India Reading, Amidst The Second Wave Of The Pandemic?

Over the last year, the pandemic has led people to spend most of their time indoors as they maintain social distance. As India now reels under an alarming second wave, many parts of the country have tightened stay-at-home protocols — making consumers opt for activities that reduce their need to step out — a key pastime being ‘reading’. According to homegrown e-commerce platform Flipkart, the Books category has witnessed a growth of 1.5 times in the number of units sold in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period last year. Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated. “With people finding comfort in books, it’s curious to see how reading habits and genre preferences can change during unprecedented times. We pride ourselves in being close to consumers, while deeply understanding their needs and expectations across the country and work continuously towards providing them with the best selection, through our sellers. In the case of books, overall, two-third of the demand for books on the platform came from tier-2 and tier-3 cities in the past quarter, where we witnessed increasing searches from cities such as Jamshedpur, Azamgarh, Faizabad, Deoria, Guwahati, Gorakhpur, and Bhubaneswar,” Nishant Gupta, Head — Beauty, General Merchandise, Home and Furniture, Flipkart told IANSlife.
The year 2020 brought about a paradigm shift in everyone’s lives. Pixabay
With competitive exams around the corner coupled with time in hand, people are upskilling, leading to a growing demand for academic books, reference books, general knowledge books and English books such as Word Power Made Easy and Oxford Student Atlas. Owing to children spending their time at home, activity books, picture, and coloring books have also seen a clear spike. The year 2020 brought about a paradigm shift in everyone’s lives — people began thinking, eating, living, and reading differently. ALSO READ: Modern Retelling Of Mahabharata You Should Read Books that deal with weight loss, diets and other ‘how to’ books saw great demand. Self-help and soul-searching books boomed more than usual, as people turned to books as a way of understanding their old and new lives, making books such as ‘Ikigai’, ‘Think Like a Monk’, ‘Death’, ‘Power of Subconscious Mind’, ‘Attitude is Everything’, ‘Life’s Amazing Secre’t feature in the Top 100 books sold on Flipkart. Additionally, books by celebrity writers such as Sonu Sood, Tahira Kashyap, and Priyanka Chopra made it to the bestseller list on the platform, learned IANS. In order to encourage book readers further, Flipkart has also launched its digital property for its books category — Flipkart #NowReading on Instagram, which hosts digital launches of new books, discussions with bestselling authors, reviews, and suggestions. It has hosted Amish Tripathi, Rujuta Diwekar, Sonu Sood, Durjoy Dutta, Tahira Kashyap, and Chetan Bhagat, among others. (IANS/SP)

Biggest North-South Collaborations Coming Up In Mainstream Indian Cinema

Actors and actresses of North and South Indian film industries joining hands are not new. Bollywood and South stars collaborating on-screen have been a trend in the past with the likes of Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Prabhu Deva, and many others collaborating with Aishwarya Rai, Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, Manisha Koirala, Raveena Tandon, and Kajol, etc. While the trend had slowed down in between, the new generation of stars seems to be reviving the idea. Calling it the “pan-India” film for maximum reach, many new-generation stars from North and South are coming together in some of the biggest ventures, over the coming months. The idea, of course, is to maximize the audience base and revenues at a time uncertainty rule over the film business. Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated. Over the next months, Vijay Deverakonda stars with Ananya Panday in Liger, while Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn will be seen in RRR with Ram Charan and Jr NTR. Prabhas, Kriti Sanon, and Saif Ali Khan co-star in Adipurush, and Prabhas teams up with Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in an untitled film. These are just a few instances. The trend has ensured such films are released in multiple languages such as Hindi, Tamil Telugu, and Malayalam — which helps in reaching out to a bigger audience. This, in turn, helps stars gain fandom beyond their own respective region. IANS takes a look at some of the biggest North-South collaborations coming up in mainstream Indian cinema: RRR Bollywood actors Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn will be seen in this magnum opus by SS Rajamouli. The film also features South stars Ram Charan and Jr. NTR. The film is set against the backdrop of the independence era. The period drama centers around the life of freedom fighters Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sita Ramaraju. It will be released in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, and other Indian languages.
Indian Bollywood Actress Kriti Sanon. Wikimedia commons
ADIPURUSH Bollywood actors Kriti Sanon and Saif Ali Khan will be seen sharing screen space with Telugu star Prabhas in the film, reportedly an adaptation of Ramayan. Adipurush will be released in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada. Kriti is set to essay Sita while Saif will be seen essaying Ravan and Prabhas will feature as Lord Ram in the Om Raut directorial. LIGER Telugu star Vijay Deverakonda’s upcoming ambitious action film also features Bollywood actress Ananya Panday. The film is set to release in five languages — Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam. It is scheduled to hit the screens on September 9. Vijay will be seen playing a boxer in the film directed by Puri Jagannadh directorial. ALSO READ: Patriotism Becomes The Incumbent Flavor Of Films Down South HAATHI MERE SAATHI The film stars Rana Daggubati along with Hindi film actors such as Pulkit Samrat, Shriya Pilgaonkar, and Zoya Hussain. It has three different titles for three different versions — Haathi Mere Saathi is called Aranya in Telugu version and Kaadan in Tamil. The release of the Hindi version has been affected due to the spike in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra. UNTITLED AMITABH BACHCHAN-PRABHAS-DEEPIKA PADUKONE STARRER Superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, and Prabhas have joined hands for a mega multi-lingual film, which has not been titled yet. This is the first time Prabhas collaborates with Big B and Deepika. However, it has not been reported as to how many languages the film will release. The film is slated to open next year. (IANS/SP)

Coronavirus Predominantly Spreading Via Air: Lancet Study

There is consistent, strong evidence to prove that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, is predominantly transmitted through the air, according to a new assessment published in the medical journal The Lancet. A multi-research team from the UK, US, and Canada warned that public health measures that fail to treat the virus as predominantly airborne leave people unprotected and allow the virus to spread.

Silent (asymptomatic or presymptomatic) transmission of Coronavirus from people who are not coughing or sneezing accounts for at least 40 percent of all transmission. This silent transmission is a key way Covid-19 has spread around the world, “supporting a predominantly airborne mode of transmission,” as per the assessment. Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated. By contrast, the researchers found little to no evidence that the virus spreads easily via large droplets, which fall quickly through the air and contaminate surfaces. “The evidence supporting airborne transmission is overwhelming, and evidence supporting large droplet transmission is almost non-existent,” said Jose-Luis Jimenez, a chemist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the University of Colorado Boulder. “It is urgent that the World Health Organisation and other public health agencies adapt their description of transmission to the scientific evidence so that the focus of mitigation is put on reducing airborne transmission,” Jimenez said.
The virus as predominantly airborne leave people unprotected and allow the virus to spread. Pixabay
Further, the researchers emphasize that while it is necessary to wash hands and clean surfaces, they should be given less emphasis than airborne measures. If an infectious virus is primarily airborne, someone can potentially be infected when they inhale aerosols produced when an infected person exhales, speaks, shouts, sings, or sneezes. The airborne coronavirus control measures include ventilation, air filtration, reducing crowding and the number of time people spends indoors, wearing masks whenever indoors (even if not within 6 feet or 2 meters of others), attention to mask quality and fit, and higher-grade PPE for healthcare and other staff when working in contact with potentially infectious people. The team reviewed published research and identified 10 lines of evidence to support the predominance of the airborne route. ALSO READ: Second COVID Wave Super Dangerous For Kids: Health Experts At the top of their list: Super-spreader events such as the Skagit Choir outbreak, in which 53 people became infected from a single infected case. Studies have confirmed these events cannot be adequately explained by close contact or touching shared surfaces or objects. Moreover, transmission rates of coronavirus are much higher indoors than outdoors, and transmission is greatly reduced by indoor ventilation. The researchers also cited work demonstrating long-range transmission of the virus between people in adjacent rooms in hotels; people who were never in each other’s presence. (IANS/SP)

New Covid19 Strains And Precautions To Be Taken

There is a widespread concern among the authorities and the general public alike regarding the spurt in Covid-19 cases. Making the scenario worse is the perception that the spike is due to new strains of the Covid-19 virus. Two new strains of SARS-CoV-2, the Covid-19 causing virus have been detected in India. This was disclosed by the Union Health Ministry. These are N440K and E484K. While making public this discovery, the government made it clear that it was not possible to link the spike in cases to the new variants. In his press conference, Dr. V.K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, had said: “The two variants in Maharashtra were also detected in March and July (last year)…there was no effect back then. But to say anything definitive about its correlation to (rise in) cases this time is not possible at present.” Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what’s happening around the world. He added that the variants had been detected in labs of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG). Making a pertinent observation, Professor Balram Bhargava, the Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research, (ICMR), pointed out that the new variants have been seen in other countries too and hence can’t be labeled as Indian variants of the virus. In fact, there are many other variants in the world, including India. It needs to be understood that the new covid19 strains come into being due to the natural process of mutation. Vaccines will help in combating them but it is essential and primary is to take precautions. These are easy to follow and will help in curbing the spread.   New symptoms According to Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Founder and Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, “We are seeing new Covid19 strain, and some newer symptoms are found in patients like fever, pain in muscles, dry and persistent cough, and loss of smell and taste. In addition to conjunctivitis, sore throat, headache, rashes, upset stomach, and discoloration of fingers and toes.” While researchers suggest that new Covid19 strains may not be very dangerous, it becomes important to keep oneself safe. Here is a list of precautions to take to reduce risk. Precautions to be followed strictly * No one should leave home without gloves and masks. These should be now accepted as body extensions in the new norm. * Gloves and masks used outside need to be replaced regularly. * Use masks made of the right type of fabric with layers and which fit well like a tight-fitting surgical mask. In case, one can’t access that, then wearing two masks may be more protective. Two masks or masks with layers help in stopping the droplets from getting through.
covid19 strains
Wear a mask and stay safe. Pixabay
* Masks need to be worn properly with seals above the nose and around the chin. * Sanitisation of hands is a must. This is vital when one touches the surface be it public transport, like cabs, buses, metros or autos or in local markets or any other place. * Never sneeze or cough in the open. Tissues or handkerchiefs may be used. The latter should be washed well after use. * On experiencing symptoms like cough, fever, breathlessness, or loss of sense of taste or smell, one must immediately stop attending the office and meeting people and get medical advice. Equally important is to inform all those who came in contact with you, to alert them to take steps like isolation and medical help. * Protect yourself and your family with barrier protection. ALSO READ: Here’s Why Wearing A Mask Insufficient To Hold COVID At Bay? * Don’t indulge in leisurely shopping for necessities and limit onsite shopping. According to Dr. Scott Braunstein, Medical Director, Sollis Health, Los Angeles: “Every minute spent shopping indoors increases your risk. When possible, utilize options such as curbside pickup or delivery service to further reduce your exposure.” * If possible work from home and in case unavoidable, adhere to socially distancing at work. Also whenever and wherever possible, meetings should be held in the open or virtually. * Studies have shown that mouthwashes can help to kill the novel coronavirus in the mouth and keep it from entering your lungs and the rest of the body. Ensure good and proper oral hygiene to be safe. (IANS/SP)