Vardhan Cautions against Virus Spread ahead of Festivals, Winter; Ministry Issues Guidelines to Manage Co-infections

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday cautioned people to be more careful and take the necessary precautions against coronavirus ahead of the festive season, saying the respiratory virus could show its effect more rapidly during the winters.

He said social distancing, wearing masks and repeatedly washing hands are crucial to prevent spread of the virus. Vardhan said if the necessary precautions are taken by people, then the chain of transmission of the virus will break.

“The next 2-3 months will have festivals and coincide with the winter season. As you are aware, the…respiratory virus could show its effect more rapidly during the winter,” he said. Vardhan, who is also the Science and Technology minister in addition to being the country’s health minister, was addressing the directors of the institutes under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

He said if people act carelessly and forget about precautions while celebrating festivals, then

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Can temperature scanning slow COVID-19 spread? Airports are the testing ground for new tech

A camera in the security lines at Dallas Love Field is scanning every passerby for elevated temperatures, in a test by the airport and Southwest Airlines to find out if it can detect sick people before they board flights.

In the back hallways, employees are getting temperature checks at kiosks before they start work each day, trying to keep sick employees out of the airport, too.

As airlines, companies and governments scramble to reopen a battered economy facing the eighth month of a worldwide pandemic, airports are now the frontline for evolving thermal imaging technologies designed to pick out infected travelers before they can spread COVID-19 further.

Temperature scanning device makers such as Dallas-based Wello Inc. and Beaumont’s Infared Cameras Inc. have suddenly been inundated with requests for their technology. Even small restaurants, hotels and schools are asking about it.

“It’s not just convention centers and airlines,” said Gary Strahan,

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Can thermal cameras slow COVID-19 spread? Airports are the testing ground for new tech

A camera in the security lines at Dallas Love Field is scanning every passerby for elevated temperatures, in a test by the airport and Southwest Airlines to find out if it can detect sick people before they board flights.

In the back hallways, employees are getting temperature checks at kiosks before they start work each day, trying to keep sick employees out of the airport, too.

As airlines, companies and governments scramble to reopen a battered economy facing the eighth month of a worldwide pandemic, airports are now the frontline for evolving thermal imaging technologies designed to pick out infected travelers before they can spread COVID-19 further.

Thermal camera makers such as Dallas-based Wello Inc. and Beaumont’s Infared Cameras Inc. have suddenly been inundated with requests for their technology. Even small restaurants, hotels and schools are asking about it.

“It’s not just convention centers and airlines,” said Gary Strahan, CEO

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Twitter seeks to limit spread of misinformation before vote

Twitter Inc. announced a handful of product changes intended to make it harder for users to spread misinformation on the service in the final weeks of the US presidential campaign.

Some of the alterations are related to Twitter’s retweet feature, which lets users share another person’s post to their own followers, and is the fastest way for a tweet to go viral. If someone tries to retweet a post that has been labeled as false, Twitter will show “a prompt pointing them to credible information about the topic,” the company said Friday. It will also put more misleading tweets behind a warning screen, forcing users to click in order to see the original post.

Twitter will also prompt users to “quote tweet” a post before retweeting it — asking them to “add their own commentary” to the message instead of just passing it along.

“Though this adds some extra friction

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This new cooling technology also prevents viral spread

In the face of dangerous heat waves this summer, Americans have taken shelter in air-conditioned cooling centers. Normally, that would be a wise choice, but during a pandemic, indoor shelters present new risks. The same air conditioning systems that keep us cool recirculate air around us, potentially spreading the coronavirus.

“Air conditioners look like they’re bringing in air from the outside because they go through the window, but it is 100 percent recirculated air,” said Forrest Meggers, an assistant professor of architecture at Princeton University. “If you had a system that could cool without being focused solely on cooling air, then you could actually open your windows.”

Meggers and an international team of researchers have developed a safer way for people to beat the heat — a highly efficient cooling system that doesn’t move air around.

Scientists lined door-sized panels with tiny tubes that circulate cold water. Stand next to

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Toothless dino’s lost digits point to spread of parrot-like species — ScienceDaily

A newly discovered species of toothless, two-fingered dinosaur has shed light on how a group of parrot-like animals thrived more than 68 million years ago.

The unusual species had one less finger on each forearm than its close relatives, suggesting an adaptability which enabled the animals to spread during the Late Cretaceous Period, researchers say.

Multiple complete skeletons of the new species were unearthed in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia by a University of Edinburgh-led team.

Named Oksoko avarsan, the feathered, omnivorous creatures grew to around two metres long and had only two functional digits on each forearm. The animals had a large, toothless beak similar to the type seen in species of parrot today.

The remarkably well-preserved fossils provided the first evidence of digit loss in the three-fingered family of dinosaurs known as oviraptors.

The discovery that they could evolve forelimb adaptations suggests the group could alter their diets

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How Did QAnon Conspiracies Spread So Fast In 2020?

The increasingly visible and vocal followers of QAnon promote a bewildering blend of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, worrying everyone from Facebook to the FBI.

Once on the fringes of the internet and focused on US politics, the movement has seen sharp growth on mainstream social media platforms this year, prompting tech firms to tighten controls and ban QAnon followers.

The movement is centred on the unsubstantiated belief that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles. It has extended that this year to allege, without proof, that the coronavirus is a conspiracy by that group to control people using vaccines and 5G.

Researchers detected sharp spikes in QAnon content and related searches in March, when many countries had started imposing lockdowns and other social distancing measures.

The anxiety, frustration and economic pain caused by the pandemic — coupled with the increased amount of time people were spending — online

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COVID-19 can spread in the air

By Jamie Gumbrecht | CNN

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has again updated its guidance about how Covid-19 spreads to include information about potential for airborne transmission.

“CDC continues to believe, based on current science, that people are more likely to become infected the longer and closer they are to a person with COVID-19,” the agency said in a statement on Monday.

“Today’s update acknowledges the existence of some published reports showing limited, uncommon circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the COVID-19-positive person left an area. In these instances, transmission occurred in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that often involved activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise. Such environments and activities may contribute to the buildup of virus-carrying particles.”

Last month, the agency updated its guidance to say Covid-19 could spread through the air,

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Time Spent Talking, Not Just Physical Distance, Plays Role In Covid-19 Spread Researchers Say

Stay six feet apart — that’s the rule of thumb when it comes to social distancing. However, a new study suggests we need to take speech into account in addition to physical distancing when creating Covid-19 transmission mitigation strategies. By assessing the physics of saliva droplet formation and subsequent spray while a person speaks, researchers have shown the words we say play a role in how many droplets we spread — and how far they go.  

The paper, published in Physical Review Fluids, explores the mechanics behind transmission of droplets through speech. Manouk Abkarian of the University of Montpellier, France, and Howard Stone of Princeton University used high-speed videos to study how a talking person forms saliva droplets.

“Since there are many excellent studies on the size of droplets formed in some of these activities, we decided to study the airflows that would

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Pain relief caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection may help explain COVID-19 spread — ScienceDaily

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can relieve pain, according to a new study by University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers.

The finding may explain why nearly half of people who get COVID-19 experience few or no symptoms, even though they are able to spread the disease, according to the study’s corresponding author Rajesh Khanna, PhD, a professor in the College of Medicine — Tucson’s Department of Pharmacology.

“It made a lot of sense to me that perhaps the reason for the unrelenting spread of COVID-19 is that in the early stages, you’re walking around all fine as if nothing is wrong because your pain has been suppressed,” said Dr. Khanna. “You have the virus, but you don’t feel bad because you pain is gone. If we can prove that this pain relief is what is causing COVID-19 to spread further, that’s of enormous value.”

The paper, “SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein

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