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Covid-19 Virus ‘Does Not Spread Easily’ by Touching Surfaces and Objects, Says US CDC

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Representative image of coronavirus. (Reuters via Nexu Science Communications)

Representative image of coronavirus. (Reuters via Nexu Science Communications)

The CDC in its guidance also said that the risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low at this point of time.

  • IANS New York
  • Last Updated: May 23, 2020, 12:02 AM IST

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While the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people, the risk of getting infected in other ways such by touching surfaces and objects may be relatively lower, suggests new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

This, however, does not mean that people should stop washing their hands frequently.

“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus,” the CDC said.

Knowledge about how long the virus survives on surfaces is still evolving.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier found that viable coronavirus could live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for three days and it can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours.

Barely a couple of weeks after this finding, a CDC report said that genetic material from coronavirus was found on surfaces of Japan’s Diamond Princess cruise ship 17 days after passengers disembarked.

However, neither of these studies confirmed that coronavirus spread easily on surfaces, according to a report in USA Today on Thursday.

The CDC in its guidance also said that the risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low at this point of time.

But it warned that the COVID-19 virus is spreading very easily and sustainably between people.

“Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious,” the CDC said.


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‘More to Lose Than Gain, You Can’t Afford Shocks’: Beijing Warns India to Back Off from US-China War

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Representative image. (AP)

Representative image. (AP)

In an article in The Global Times, China said that there have been some voices calling for the Indian government to join the new Cold War and exploit its position for more gains.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 1, 2020, 12:17 AM IST

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New Delhi: Warning India to be “careful”, China on Sunday asked New Delhi not to get involved in the Washington-Beijing rivalry even as some predict that the world’s two largest economies are “about to enter a new Cold War”.

In an article in The Global Times, China said that there have been some voices calling for the Indian government to join the new Cold War and exploit its position for more gains.

“Such irrational voices are nothing but misleading, which should not represent the mainstream voices and sway the Indian government’s stance. Fundamentally speaking, India has little to gain from engaging in a US-China conflict over any topic, with more to lose than gain, which is why the Modi government needs to face the new geopolitical development objectively and rationally,” Beijing said.

Several areas along the Line of Actual Control or LAC in Ladakh and North Sikkim have seen major military build-up by both the Indian and Chinese armies, in a clear signal of escalating tension and hardening of positions by the two sides even two weeks after they were engaged in two separate face-offs.

India has said the Chinese military was hindering normal patrolling by its troops along the LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim, and strongly refuted Beijing’s contention that the escalating tension between the two armies was triggered by trespassing of Indian forces across the Chinese side.

Us President Donald Trump had also offered to “mediate or arbitrate” the raging border dispute between the two most populous countries, saying he was “ready, willing and able” to ease the tensions.

China asked India to be careful not to include the US factor in its handling of any problem in its relations with China, “otherwise it will only complicate the issue”. “The offer of US mediation is unnecessary and the last thing both sides could use. China and India have the ability to resolve their problems, and there is no need for any third-party intervention,” it said.

Threatening New Delhi of snapping economic ties, Beijing further said, “If in a new Cold War, India leans toward the US or becomes a US pawn attacking China, the economic and trade ties between the two Asian neighbors will suffer a devastating blow. And it would be too much for the Indian economy to take such a hit at the current stage.”

Citing the increasing coronavirus cases and the recession forecast, China stated that the “crippling Indian economy cannot afford any more shocks”. It “advised” New Delhi to “always view the India-China relations with rational minds instead of being lured by domestic nationalist sentiment”.


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Amid Violent Protests, Trump Says US Govt Will Designate Antifa as Terrorist Organisation

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File photo of US President Donald Trump.

File photo of US President Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s tweet on Sunday is not the first time the president has described the anti-fascist group Antifa as a terrorist organisation. Other conservative politicians have made similar statements.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: June 1, 2020, 12:14 AM IST

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US President Donald Trump said on Sunday his government will designate anti-fascist group Antifa as a terrorist organisation.

The announcement, made by Trump on Twitter, comes amid violent nationwide protests about police brutality following the death of a black man seen on video gasping for breath as a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

US Attorney General William Barr said on Saturday “outside radicals and agitators” have hijacked protests in US cities over the killing. “Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda,” Barr said in an on-camera statement.

It is not clear how many, if any, of the protesters participating in demonstrations across the country are from Antifa. John Harrington, the head of Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety, told a news conference on Sunday that about 20% of Saturday’s arrest records were for people out-of-state, though he did not yet have the total for Saturday night’s arrests.

Trump’s tweet on Sunday is not the first time the president has described Antifa as a terrorist group. Other conservative politicians, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, have made similar statements.

It is also unclear whether the Trump administration is seriously pursuing the designation through formal channels, which would typically require coordination across multiple federal agencies.


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‘Tragic Murder of Black People’: Iran Berates US over Police Killing, Slams Racism

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FILE PHOTO:  Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a news conference, a day ahead of the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the Untied Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, October 29, 2019. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File photo)

FILE PHOTO: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a news conference, a day ahead of the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the Untied Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, October 29, 2019. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File photo)

Iran’s foreign ministry earlier denounced the killing in Minneapolis, which has sparked protests in several cities, some of which have turned violent.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: May 31, 2020, 12:32 PM IST

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Dubai: Iran took Washington to task on Saturday over the alleged killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer that sparked protests in the United States over racial injustice.

“Some don’t think #BlackLivesMatter,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter. “To those of us who do: it is long overdue for the entire world to wage war against racism. Time for a #WorldAgainstRacism.”

“The US government is squandering its citizens’ resources,” Zarif said in a tweet echoing a 2018 statement from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The tweet featured an image of Pompeo’s statement addressing protests in Iran, but with elements crossed out and replaced.

Iran’s foreign ministry earlier denounced the killing in Minneapolis, which has sparked protests in several cities, some of which have turned violent.

A ministry statement condemned what it called “the tragic murder of black people and deadly racial discrimination in the United States”.

“The voices of the protesters must be heard,” it said.

Separately, Iran’s interior minister indicated in an interview that the death toll in November street protests in Iran over fuel price hikes was below 225.

The reported toll has varied between an Amnesty International figure of over 300 and a Reuters account of 1,500 – both dismissed by the authorities.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told state television late on Saturday that 40 to 45 of those killed in the unrest making up 20% of the death toll had not been shot by security forces.

Authorities are likely to announce the official toll in coming days, said Rahmani Fazli, who was blacklisted this month by the United States, which accused him of engaging in human rights abuse.

Hundreds of young and working-class Iranians took to the streets on Nov. 15 to protest against fuel price rises. The protests turned political, with demonstrators burning pictures of senior officials and calling on clerical rulers to step down.


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