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The results showed that among those who used throat spray thrice a day, only 46 percent contracted the disease. Pixabay

Using a type of antiseptic throat spray, and an oral drug used to treat malaria and arthritis, have been found effective in curbing the spread of Covid-19, according to a new study.

The six-week-long study, led by researchers from the National University Hospital (NUH) in Singapore, involved more than 3,000 migrant workers from India, Bangladesh, China, and Myanmar living in Tuas South dormitory, the Channel News Asia reported.


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The results showed that among those who used throat spray thrice a day, only 46 percent contracted the disease. This is compared to 49 percent among those who took hydroxychloroquine and 70 percent who took vitamin C.

The two drugs were chosen because they are easily available, said Seet, adding that they protect the throat, the “key entry” for viruses. The findings are published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the report said.


The medications are not intended to be used for Covid-19 prevention in the general population if it is a lower-risk environment, according to the researchers. Pixabay

“We concluded that povidone-iodine throat spray was associated with a statistically significant reduction in infection by an absolute risk of reduction of 24 percent while oral hydroxychloroquine was associated with a statistically significant reduction in infection by an absolute risk of reduction of 21 percent,” lead author Raymond Seet, Associate Professor at the NUH was quoted as saying.

However, the researchers stressed that the drugs are not meant to be used for Covid-19 prevention in the general community if it is a lower-risk setting, the report said.

ALSO READ: WHO: An Initiative To Halt The Transmission Of Malaria By 2025

“This is a very simple intervention with virtually minimal side effects where we could actually cut the transmission rates in a meaningful way,” Mikael Hartman, Associate Professor from the NUH was quoted as saying.

“This is the first study to demonstrate the benefits of prophylactic, or preventive therapy with either oral hydroxychloroquine or povidone-iodine throat spray in reducing Covid-19 infection among quarantined individuals living in a closed and high exposure setting,” Seet said. (IANS/KB)


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Surgeons attached a pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days, and the kidney did what it was supposed to do.

Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for lifesaving transplants.

Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences


Photo by GOI.

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020. Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.

According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.

Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector. In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.

According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting. On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.

Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)


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