COVID-19 airborne: WHO to review report

  1. 239 scientists from 32 countries have outlined the evidence that floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in.
  2. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now reviewing the report regarding this.
  3. As of now WHO guidelines say that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person.
  4. These droplets quickly sink to the ground as they are heavier than air molecules.

The floating virus

  1. Scientists now have evidences that the virus can float and linger in the air for longer than the droplets.
  2. Scientists from all over the world have requested WHO to update its guidance regarding the COVID-19.
  3. “We are aware of the article and are reviewing its contents with our technical experts,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Monday in an email.

The speed of airborne virus

  1. The airborne virus can infect people for sure but at what speed it spreads has not been noticed yet.
  2. Professor Babak Javid, an infectious disease consultant at Cambridge University Hospitals, said airborne transmission of the virus is possible and even likely, but said evidence over how long the virus stays airborne is lacking.
  3. Any change in the WHO’s assessment of risk of transmission could affect its current advice on keeping 1-metre (3.3 feet) of physical distancing.

If so, it’s very dangerous

  1. If it can hang in the air for long periods of time, even after an infected person leaves that space, that could affect the measures healthcare workers and others take to protect themselves.
  2. WHO guidance to health workers, dated June 29, says SARS-CoV-2 is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets and on surfaces.
  3. But airborne transmission is possible in some circumstances, such as when performing intubation and aerosol-generating procedures, the WHO says.

Kuwait approves expat quota bill

  1. Eight lakh Indians could be forced to leave Kuwait.
  2. The National Assembly committee has approved a draft expat quota bill  to reduce the number of foreign workers in the Gulf country.
  3. The bill is said to be constitutional hence will be followed strictly.
  4. According to the bill, Indians should not exceed 15% of the population.
  5. And currently Kuwait has around 25% of Indian workers which means the extra number will be returned according to the new law.

A real problem

  1. Last month, Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah proposed reducing the number of expats from 70% to 30% of the population.
  2. Kuwait has a real problem in its population structure, in which 70% are expats.
  3. What is more serious is that 1.3 million of the 3.35 million expats “are either illiterate or can merely read and write”, the people Kuwait does not really need, the Kuwait Times reported.

What figures say:

  1. According to the Indian embassy in Kuwait, there are about 28,000 Indians working for the Kuwaiti Government in various jobs like nurses, engineers in national oil companies and a few as scientists.
  2. The majority of Indians (5.23 lakh) are employed in private sectors. In addition, there are about 1.16 lakh dependents. Out of these, there are about 60,000 Indian students studying in 23 Indian schools in the country.
  3. The bill will now be transferred to the respective committee so that a comprehensive plan is created. 4.In 2018, India received nearly $4.8 billion from Kuwait as remittances.

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