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Coronavirus: Expert panel to assess face mask use by public

Coronavirus: Expert panel to assess face mask use by public

Science
Should more of us wear face masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus?This question is to be assessed by a panel of advisers to the World Health Organization (WHO).The group will weigh up research on whether the virus can be projected further than previously thought; a study in the US suggests coughs can reach 6m and sneezes up to 8m.The panel's chair, Prof David Heymann, told BBC News that the new research may lead to a shift in advice about masks. The former director at the WHO explained: "The WHO is opening up its discussion again looking at the new evidence to see whether or not there should be a change in the way it's recommending masks should be used."What is the current advice?The WHO recommends keeping a distance of at least 1m from anyone coug...
Whales face more fatal ship collisions as waters warm

Whales face more fatal ship collisions as waters warm

Technology
PORTLAND, Maine -- Climate change is imperiling the world's largest animals by increasing the likelihood of fatal collisions between whales and big ships that ply the same waters. Warming ocean temperatures are causing some species of whales in pursuit of food to stray more frequently into shipping lanes, scientists say. The phenomenon already has increased ship strikes involving rare North Atlantic right whales on the East Coast and giant blue whales on the West Coast, researchers say. The number of strikes off California increased threefold in 2018 — to at least 10 — compared to previous years. When whales are killed in a ship collision, they often sink and don't always wash ashore. So scientists and conservationists say fatal ship strikes are dramatically under-reported. Vessels strik
Coronavirus: Asian nations face second wave of imported cases

Coronavirus: Asian nations face second wave of imported cases

World
South Korea, China and Singapore are among the Asian countries facing a second coronavirus wave, spurred by people importing it from outside.China, where the virus first emerged, confirmed it had no new domestic cases on Wednesday, for the first time since the outbreak began, a major milestone. But it reported 34 new cases among people recently returned to China.Singapore also reported 47 new cases, of which 33 were imported - 30 of them returned Singapore residents.South Korea saw a jump in new cases on Thursday with 152, though it is not clear how many were imported.A new cluster there is centred on a nursing home in Daegu, where 74 patients have tested positive. ...
California parents face possible long-term homeschooling

California parents face possible long-term homeschooling

Health
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Extraordinary restrictions on everyday activities expanded to more areas of California on Wednesday as many parents around the state struggled to fathom the prospect put forth by Gov. Gavin Newsom of schools staying closed until summer. David De Leon, whose son is an 8th-grader in Santa Ana, said he was shocked by the announcement, which would mean that so-called distance learning would be required for the rest of the school year. “I don’t know if it’s viable,” De Leon said. “To throw it out for everyone to use until the end of the school year I think is unreasonable.” In Los Angeles, Filiberto Gonzalez, 45, said his three children have been in touch daily with their teachers and have an hour to four hours per day of work they can do on an existing online platform t
Dark web drug dealers turn to selling face masks to meet demand

Dark web drug dealers turn to selling face masks to meet demand

Technology
Cyber criminals are now selling potentially counterfeit surgical face masks on dark web marketplaces in a rush to exploit the supply shortage resulting from the outbreak in China.The face mask listings were detected by risk management company Digital Shadows on English-language marketplace Empire, which is known for selling illegal drugs and hacking equipment. Pictures featured in the listings show plain masks without the advanced respirators capable of filtering small virus particles, although it isn't clear whether these images are legitimate. Image: Coronavirus masks listed for sale on the dark web. Pic: Digital Shadows The disease caused by the coronavirus, COVID-19, has now infected more than 156,000 people worldwide, driving dem...