Thursday, July 2, 2020

New coronavirus finding raises alarm … Over 2 billion people at high COVID-19 risk

Implementing long-term solutions are needed to protect against COVID-19 and the more than 700,000 deaths each year due to poor handwashing access, the researchers said.

Washington: The coronavirus pandemic has created a huge outcry all across the world and is claiming thousands of victims every day.

All the countries of the world are trying to find a cure for the COVID-19 virus and are pouring money like water into the search for a coronavirus vaccine. But there has been no success so far.

As the fight against the coronavirus pandemic gathers steam all around the world, researchers are trying hard to find ways to defeat the COVID-19 virus.

Now a team of researchers have made a discovery which set the alarm bells ringing all over the world.

This will be of particular concern in developing countries like India where the public health system is struggling to deal with the huge number of coronavirus patients.

Without access to soap and clean water, more than two billion people in low- and middle-income nations have a greater likelihood of acquiring and transmitting the coronavirus than those in wealthy countries, warn researchers.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, revealed that, in 46 countries, more than half of the people lacked access to soap and clean water.

In India, China, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Indonesia, more than 50 million persons in each were estimated to be without handwashing access.

More than 50 per cent of the people in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania lacked access to effective handwashing, according to the findings.

“Handwashing is one of the key measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission, yet it is distressing that access is unavailable in many countries that also have limited health care capacity,” said study researcher Dr Michael Brauer from the University of Washington in the US.

“Temporary fixes, such as hand sanitizer or water trucks, are just that – temporary fixes,” Brauer added.

Implementing long-term solutions are needed to protect against COVID-19 and the more than 700,000 deaths each year due to poor handwashing access, the researchers said.

“Even with 25 per cent of the world’s population lacking access to effective handwashing facilities, there have been ‘substantial improvements in many countries’ between 1990 and 2019,” Brauer said.

Those countries include Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Nepal, and Tanzania, which have improved their nations’ sanitation.The study does not estimate access to handwashing facilities in non-household settings such as schools, workplaces, health care facilities, and other public locations such as markets.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation predicted 190,000 people in Africa could die of COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic, and that upward of 44 million of the continent’s 1.3 billion people could be infected with the coronavirus.

 The coronavirus outbreak continues to ravage several countries all over the globe even as scientists around the world struggle to come up with a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for a medicine or vaccine which can fight the COVID-19 virus.

However, although medical experts and researchers are trying very hard towards this end, so far there has been no treatment which can claim to be a definite cure for coronavirus.

Now, a statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed an alarming picture of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Highlighting its continuing peril around the world even as its spread slows in some areas of Asia and Europe and lockdown restrictions are eased, coronavirus has infected 106,000 people in the last 24 hours – the largest number of cases since its outbreak, the WHO said on Wednesday.

Revealing the alarming numbers at his daily briefing, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that two-thirds of those COVID-19 cases came from just four countries, the BBC reported.

The global tally of coronavirus cases is nearing five million, with more than 324,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to figures collected by Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Centre.

The US currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases with 1.5 million, followed by Russia, Brazil and the UK.

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