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No new cases in China to clean Venice waters — the latest on COVID-19

From new research on coronavirus to how other countries are coping, ThePrint brings you top developments from across the world.

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New Delhi: The coronavirus is now assuming pandemic proportions but the heartening news is that China, the epicentre of the outbreak, has reported no new infection for the first time. 

The outbreak is in its Stage 2 in India, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), while Russia has recorded its first victim. Elsewhere, the lockdown in Italy has meant that Venetians have finally been able to see clear waters in their canals while a new research paper has warned that those with chronic digestive problems are the most vulnerable.   

ThePrint brings you the five latest developments across the world in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.   

Also read: By failing to scale up testing coronavirus, India may have lost crucial time

China reports no new local infection

For the first time since the coronavirus infections broke out in Wuhan, China has reported no new local infections —reaching a major milestone in the battle against viral outbreak.

This even as countries such as Italy, Iran and the US continue to grapple with the pandemic, with over 2.2 lakh people infected across the world and over 8,000 deaths.

Experts, however, warn that the crisis is not yet over for the country as a second wave of infections could occur. 

Russia records first death from COVID-19 

A 79-year-old woman with coronavirus and other underlying health issues died from pneumonia in Russia, becoming the country’s first confirmed death resulting from the global pandemic, according to media reports. 

The country has largely avoided the spread of the pandemic, with just 147 people reported to be infected so far. Russia’s first coronavirus case was reported earlier this month 

Venetians see clear waters for the first time

Amid the lockdown in Italy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Venice saw clear waters in its canals, transparent enough to locate fish.

The lockdown in Italy has reduced the traffic of ferry-boats, motor boats and big ships both in the Venice lagoon and in the city canals, according to media reports. 

Venetians used to swim in the lagoon water several decades ago but intensified boat traffic in the canals and giant commercial ships have prevented people from taking a dip in these waters in recent times. 

Patients with chronic digestive conditions vulnerable  

A new research paper by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, warns that patients with chronic digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) need to take extra precautions against the novel coronavirus spread.

Researchers warn that such patients take immuno-suppression drugs, which puts them at a higher risk of death from the novel coronavirus. 

The paper also urges gastroenterologists to use personal protective equipment during endoscopy as the gastrointestinal tract may be a potential route of the coronavirus infection. 

Also read: What is comorbidity — the factor that likely led to 3 COVID-19 deaths in India

Physicists to study how COVID-19 behaves in different conditions

Researchers at the University of Utah have received funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how the novel coronavirus behaves in different conditions such as air-conditioned offices.

The physicists will create individual synthetic coronavirus particles without a genome, making the virus incapable of infection or replication. The team will test how the structure of the coronavirus withstands changes in humidity and temperature, and under what conditions the virus falls apart.

“We’re making a faithful replica of the virus packaging that holds everything together. The idea is to figure out what makes this virus fall apart, what makes it tick, what makes it die,” said Michael Vershinin, assistant professor at the university said in a statement.  

Also read: Is COVID-19 a biological weapon and can neem or hot bath prevent it? Fact-checking 24 claims



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