Home-made face masks may need at least two layers to stop Covid-19 spread: Study

News Network
July 24, 2020

Melbourne, Jul 24: Home-made cloth face masks may need a minimum of two layers, and preferably three, to prevent the dispersal of viral droplets associated with Covid-19, according to a study.

Researchers, including those from the University of New South Wales in Australia, noted that viral droplets are generated by those infected with the novel coronavirus when they cough, sneeze, or speak.

As face masks have been proven to protect healthy people from inhaling infectious droplets as well as reducing the spread from those who are already infected, several types of material have been suggested for these, but based on little or no evidence of how well they work, the scientists said.

In the current study, published in the journal Thorax, the researchers compared the effectiveness of single and double-layer cloth face coverings with a surgical face mask (Bao Thach) at reducing droplet spread.

They said the single layer covering was made from a folded piece of cotton T shirt and hair ties, and the double layer covering was made using the sew method described by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The scientists used a tailored LED lighting system and a high-speed camera to film the dispersal of airborne droplets produced by a healthy person with no respiratory infection, during speaking, coughing, and sneezing while wearing each type of mask.

Their analysis showed that the surgical face mask was the most effective at reducing airborne droplet dispersal, although even a single layer cloth face covering reduced the droplet spread from speaking.

But the study noted that a double layer covering was better than a single layer in reducing the droplet spread from coughing and sneezing.

According to the researchers, the effectiveness of cloth face masks is dependent on the number of layers of the covering, the type of material used, design, fit as well as the frequency of washing.

Based on their observations, they said a home made cloth mask with at least two layers is preferable to a single layer mask.

"Guidelines on home-made cloth masks should stipulate multiple layers," the scientists said, adding that there is a need for more research to inform safer cloth mask design.

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News Network
September 21,2020

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Noida, Sept 21: Financial services app Paytm has accused Google of making policies that are over and above the laws of India after it was briefly delisted from the Playstore last week.

"As a startup, we are running law-abiding businesses and building for India. Google and its employees are making policies which are over and above the laws of our country, and are arbitrarily implementing them," it said in a blogpost.

Paytm said Google owns Android which is the operating system on which over 95 per cent of smartphones in India run. Google, as a result, has enormous control over which apps you download through its Playstore policies.

"It also makes billions of dollars in advertising revenues from the Indian startups that make these apps. In many cases like maps, email, payments, shopping and cloud storage, Google also has apps that compete with other apps, including, of course, the apps that are made by Indian startups."

Paytm said it had launched a campaign where users could collect cricket stickers and scratch cards to earn UPI cashback. The offer was applicable on recharges, utility payments, UPI money transfers and adding money to Paytm wallet.

On September 18, it got an email from Google Play Support informing that the Paytm Android app had been delisted.

This was the first time that Google was sending it a notification regarding its UPI cashback and scratch cards campaign.

"Contrary to accepted practise, we were not given any opportunity to respond to their concerns or put forth our views. We maintain that our cashback campaign was within guidelines, as well as all laws of the land. We did not break any rules and there was no violation. It is not related to gambling in any manner whatsoever," said Paytm.

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Agencies
September 28,2020

Bhopal, Sept 28: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said a senior state IPS officer has been relieved of duties, after a video showing him assaulting his wife went viral on social media.

In the video, Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police (Prosecution) Purushottam Sharma is seen thrashing his wife, while the latter is seen resisting the assault.

"The officer has been relieved of his duties. Action will be taken against anyone who holds a responsible position, but indulges in illegal activities and taking law into his hands," the chief minister said.

He is senior IPS officer from MP. Showing bravery on his wife. She had caught him with other women. In the video only dog seems to be disturbed due the incidents. pic.twitter.com/iXeKTNoQI3

— Skand Vivek Dhar (@skandvivek) September 28, 2020
There is no official confirmation to reports that the IPS officer was caught red-handed by his wife of 32 years at a woman's house, after which he assaulted her.

Sharma's son Parth, a deputy commissioner in the Income Tax Department, sent the video to state Home Minister Narottam Mishra and some senior bureaucrats, and requested that a complaint be registered against his father.

Sharma, who has been married for 32 years, told PTI that if he has done anything wrong, then his son should say why was his mother living with him for so long.

"My son should say why was she taking money (from me) since 12-15 years and going on foreign trips. After enjoying so much comfort in life, she has an obligation towards her family, to save its reputation," Sharma said.

Meanwhile, NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Monday, demanding strict action against the senior police officer who is seen beating and abusing his wife in a purported video.

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Agencies
September 25,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 25: Vodafone Group Plc has won an international arbitration case against the Indian government in a ₹14,200 crore retrospective tax dispute, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The tribunal ruled that the Indian government's imposition of a tax liability on Vodafone is in breach of the investment treaty agreement between India and the Netherlands, one of the sources said.

The British telecom giant moved the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2016.

Vodafone in 2013 had invoked India-Netherlands bilateral investment treaty seeking resolution to the tax demand imposed on it by enacting a tax law with retrospective effect to sidestep a Supreme Court judgement that went in the company’s favour.

Conciliatory proceedings were initiated to resolve the dispute but differences led to a breakdown following which arbitration was initiated.

The government had initially slapped a tax demand of ₹7,990 crore on Vodafone for failing to deduct tax on capital gains made over its $11-billion acquisition of 67% stake in the mobile phone business owned by Hutchison Whampoa in 2007.

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