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Scientists ask for stricter measures to stop new strain of Covid. Pixabay

With new Covid-19 strains reported from several parts of the world giving fresh threats to the fight against the pandemic, a group of scientists is calling on governments to consider the continued use of strict control measures as the only way to reduce the evolution and spread of the new variants of the virus.

The experts — at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Britain, Earlham Institute in England, and University of Minnesota in the US — warned that while governments are negotiating a “precarious balance” between saving the economy and preventing Covid-19 fatalities, stronger action now is the best way to mitigate against more serious outcomes from such virulent strains later.


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While Covid-19 vaccine deployment is now underway, a threat to vaccine effectiveness comes from other emerging strains, both existing — such as the UK, South Africa and Brazil variants — and those yet to come.

In an editorial for the journal Virulence, Professors Cock van Oosterhout, Neil Hall, Hinh Ly, and its editor-in-chief Prof Kevin Tyler said, “continuing public health efforts to encourage vaccination as well as continued use of proper personal protective equipment (PPE), such as proper masking and maintaining safe social interactions, is of utmost importance”.


Covid 19.Pixabay

“Humanity is faced with a new reality. The faster we adapt, the better our long-term prospects. We must stop the evolution and spread of more virulent virus strains now. We, therefore, support public health policies with strict control measures in order to protect our public health system, our individual wellbeing, and our future.”

Scientists said that an increased virulence — or higher R-value — can also result from the virus evolving the ability to infect people for longer.

“Vaccination against a viral pathogen with such high prevalence globally is without precedent and we, therefore, have found ourselves in unchartered waters,” the experts said.

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“However, what we can be certain about is that, as long as the vaccine stays effective, a higher uptake of the vaccines will: reduce the number of Covid-19-related deaths, stem the spread of the transmissible strain of the virus, and reduce risk of the evolution of other, even more, virulent strains in the future.

“Furthermore, it is not unthinkable that vaccination of some domesticated animal species might also be necessary to curb the spread of the infection,” they added. (IANS)


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Tokyo Olympics 2020 Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar enter semi finals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(IANS/HP)