More than 90 percent of world’s population is exposed to excessive air pollution, says WHO report

The WHO estimates more than 92 percent of people are affected by air pollution, and the sub-standard air contributes to more than six million deaths per year

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An Indian woman crosses a road as vehicles move through morning smog on the last day of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in New Delhi, Jan. 15, 2016. VOA

27 Sept, 2016: Air Pollution is one of the most critical issues the world is facing today and according to the latest international news update, the report from the World Health Organization(WHO), more than 90 percent of the world’s population is exposed to excessive air pollution causing which contributes to a number of health problems.

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Current foreign news released on Tuesday by the U.N. health watchdog shows that the problem is most prevalent in large cities, but people may be surprised to find out how bad the air quality is in rural areas.

It “is enough to make all of us extremely concerned,” said Maria Neira, director of the WHO public health and environment department. “It is a public health emergency. Fast action to tackle air pollution can’t come soon enough.”

The WHO estimates more than 92 percent of people are affected by air pollution, and the sub-standard air contributes to more than six million deaths per year. Almost all of those deaths – around 90 percent – occurred in low and middle-income countries.

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The data came from around 3,000 sites across the world and measured the amount of small, dangerous particulate matter in the air.

The UN health agency refused to publicly say which country had the worst pollution record, but Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region, including China, Malaysia, and Vietnam, showed the highest levels of pollution, the data showed. (VOA)

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Social Distancing and Lockdown are The Strongest Vaccine: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Bennett University organized an International Conference on COVID-19: Fallout and Future

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"We do not anticipate the worst kind of situation in India like other developed countries, but still we have prepared the whole country for the worst situation," said Vardhan. Wikimedia Commons

By Kanan Parmar

Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised on Social Distancing saying, “Social Distancing and lockdown are the strongest vaccine against COVID-19 at the moment,” during an International Conference on COVID-19: Fallout and Future.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan addressed the International Conference on COVID-19: Fallout and Future organized by Bennett University on April 9, 2020.

Dr. Vardhan spoke about how India has taken all the necessary steps to prevent coronavirus in India and also gives the latest updates on COVID-19 news.

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The minister said that more than a lakh people were trained and educated about the COVID-19 pandemic. These included aviation crew, airport staff, healthcare professionals, etc.  Over 2,500 Indians have been evacuated from various countries. There have been dedicated ICU beds and ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

The health minister highlighted that the even bigger challenge than containing COVID-19 is to stop the spread of misinformation. The minister said, “Anyone who wants authentic information about coronavirus should go through the website of Ministry of Health and Welfare to obtain information.”

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The Health Minister advises that N95 masks are to be used only by healthcare professionals. Pixabay

He also thanked healthcare professionals saying, “I would like to thank all the COVID-19 warriors to fight this war against coronavirus.”

The health minister advises that N95 and surgical masks aren’t to be worn by all citizens but only medical staff due to the shortage. The basic necessity is to cover your mouth using any cloth or cotton mask which can also be homemade.

Talking about the positive aspects, Health Minster Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “COVID-19 is a blessing in disguise. Most of the medical equipments used to be imported but now with the help of Ministry of Textiles, we have found manufactures in India.”

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“We are in constant touch with the World Health Organization and the WHO has appreciated the efforts taken by the Government of India and Ministry of Health to contain coronavirus,” said Dr. Vardhan.

Many other professionals were present in the conference. These include. Dr. David Nabarro, the special envoy for WHO, Mr. Arvind Virmani, an economic advisor, Mr. Subash Chandra Garg, the former finance secretary of India,Gurcharan Das, Prof. Wenjuan ZhangProf. Beatrice GallelliEoghan SweeneyIrene Jay Liu, a data journalist, Prof. Rasmus Nielsen, Prof. Ashish Kumar Jha and many more.

Other presenters talked about the economic, social and political impacts of the pandemic.

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Dr. David Nabarro is an international civil servant and diplomat.

Dr. David Nabarro, the special envoy for the World Health Organization said that all the information given by WHO is based on researches done by scientists and doctors.

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Mr. Gurcharan is an Indian author.

Gurcharan Das, an Indian author said, “Biggest failure of the government is not testing enough.” He also said that the Modi government is in a ‘Dharam sankat’ and faced a challenge on whether to lift the lockdown or not.

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Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg has served as the Economic Affairs Secretary and Finance Secretary of India.

Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg, the former finance secretary of India believes that there should be a partial lockdown in India.

Also Read- Prime Minister Narendra Modi Urges Citizens to Help Financially Poor People

Ms. Beatrice Gallelli tells us about what went wrong in Italy and also talks about the North-South equality in Italy which lead to the increase in coronavirus cases.

Eoghan Sweeney talks about the spread of misinformation during the times of an epidemic or pandemic.

 

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Ways to Safeguard Yourself From Tuberculosis

World TB Day: Safeguard yourself with preventive tips

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Tuberculosis, commonly abbreviated to TB, is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN

Tuberculosis, commonly abbreviated to TB, is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. As per World Health Organization (WHO), TB is one of the top 10 causes of deaths across the globe. Based on its latest report announced in 2019 , 10 million people across the world were infected by TB, out of which 26.90 lakh people had TB in India.

The report further stated that India had maximum number of Drug Resistant TB which is 27 percent of the total 1.30 lakh Drug-Resistant cases!

As per Dr Prashant Chhajed, HOD-Respiratory Medicine, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi and Fortis Hospital, Mulund, Tuberculosis can affect several organs of the body, such as lungs, gastrointestinal system, brain, bones, pericardium (covering the heart), pleura (covering the lung) and lymph nodes – neck, chest and abdomen.

Pulmonary Tuberculosis is infectious and spreads via airborne transmission. The standard tests to diagnose Tuberculosis are on smear and culture. Smear tests are available quickly and the culture reports can take up to six weeks to detect tuberculosis.

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Once Pulmonary Tuberculosis is diagnosed it is recommended to have a good ventilation system at your home. Wikimedia Commons

In recent years, newer molecular tests, such as the CBNAAT/ TB GeneXpert have become available which enable rapid diagnosis even when the smears are negative and one is waiting for the culture reports to come. Furthermore, these molecular tests also enable the rapid diagnosis of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, the expert said.

Keeping in mind the growing burden of TB in the country and across the globe, the theme of this year’s World Tuberculosis Day which is observed on March 24 is – �It’s Time’. It focuses on building awareness about TB through prevention and cure with an extended aim to make the world TB Free.

“TB is an airborne infection and when someone infected with TB coughs or sneezes, the bacteria is released into the air, thus infecting the environment. When people get sick with Pulmonary Tuberculosis, then the disease can be transmitted to others. Symptoms may occur within the first few weeks or months or years later, some of which include: A persistent cough that lasts three or more weeks, coughing up blood, chest pain, or difficulty while breathing or coughing, rapid weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, and loss of appetite,” Dr Prashant said.

If you witness the above symptoms, you should visit your doctor to get tested and seek requisite treatment.

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When people get sick with Pulmonary Tuberculosis, then the disease can be transmitted to others. Wikimedia Commons

Here are the top preventive measures one should observe:

1. Restrict the transmission of the disease from an infected person to a non-infected person – Identify TB patients, avoid close contact with the person; if you do not know if a person has TB but is coughing rapidly, cover your nose and mouth and step away. If similar symptoms arise in yourself, visit your doctor for primary treatment.

2. Once Pulmonary Tuberculosis is diagnosed it is recommended to have a good ventilation system at your home, as TB can remain suspended in the air for several hours by doing so, one can limit the transmission of the airborne disease.

3. Follow good hygiene practices: Cover your mouth with your elbow while coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

TB can be contracted by anybody, however, those who are at a higher risk include,

Also Read- Find Out How to Wash Your Hands Properly

  • People with a weaker immune system
  • People diagnosed with chronic diseases like Diabetes
  • Those with HIV/ AIDS
  • Persons from lower socio-economic groups driven by factors such as poverty,
  • malnutrition, poor sanitation, etc.
  • Healthcare personnel coming in contact with infected persons (IANS)

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Google Uses Resources from WHO and shows Safety Tips When People Search ‘Coronavirus’

Google is using resources from the World Health Organization to show people the safety tips on coronavirus

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Google is now showing safety tips to people when they search "coronavirus". Pixabay

With the novel coronavirus outbreak grabbing the attention of people worldwide, Google is now showing safety tips to people when they search “coronavirus”.

Google is using resources from the World Health Organization to show people the safety tips and news and updates about the mysterious virus.

“Today we launched an SOS Alert w/ @WHO, to make resources about #coronavirus easily accessible. When people search for related info on @Google, they’ll find the alert atop results page w/ direct access to safety tips, info, resources & Twitter updates from WHO,” Google said in a statement on Friday.

Google coronavirus
Google is using resources from the World Health Organization to show people the safety tips and news and updates about the mysterious virus. Pixabay

In a bid to support coronavirus relief efforts in China, Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, also announced a $250,000 direct grant to the Chinese Red Cross.

“To help support relief efforts, @Googleorg issued a $250,000 direct grant to the Chinese Red Cross. Additionally we launched an internal campaign inviting Googlers to donate. So far, http://Google.org and Googlers have raised over $800K USD (3.5M rmb),” Google said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency after the death toll in China increased to 213 on Friday, with 9,692 cases confirmed in the country’s 31 provincial-level regions.

Also Read- Daily Drinking and Smoking May Increase Brain Age: Study

As 98 confirmed cases were reported from 18 countries, outside China, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO, told the media on Thursday night: “I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of 2019nCoV, not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries.” (IANS)