SciTech Bulletin 4.9 — Coronavirus

Your monthly dose of the latest in science and technology

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Mar 6, 2020 · 4 min read

As of writing this article, the world has been shook due to the proliferation of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus. In this special edition of the SciTech Bulletin, we take a look at this infamous virus, the causes for concern and end it with how we can try and be safe.

The Coronavirus just evolved

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How do we break free of the shackles of the evolving virus? Source: Wikipedia

Life is as frightening as it is deadly, and researchers in China have discovered a fact to validate just that. Doctors at the Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai have found that the coronavirus COVID-19, an already terrifying ever-virulent force of nature, has mutated, and there are at least two different strains of the same virus.

The two strains have been dubbed type L and type S. Type L is known to be the more aggressive type, a general survey suggesting that 70% of the infected are by this type. While the frequency of Type L has dropped since January 2020, due to human intervention, the fact that the virus has evolved puts more pressure on the researchers working towards finding a vaccine or a cure.

It begs the question: how many iterations of the same disease will we have to battle before we can cut ourselves free of its grasp? And how quickly can it adapt to our curative medications?

Read more at https://bit.ly/2VKPqkZ

How fares the tech industry?

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Coronavirus can potentially wreak havoc in the tech industry. Source: qz.com

While it is no secret that coronavirus has taken the world by storm, the fact that its effects extend beyond just health is relatively unknown. Apart from obviously having an impact on the travel and tourism industry, it has affected other industries too. One such industry bearing the brunt of coronavirus is the tech sector.

A majority of the world’s technological products are manufactured in China, the country where the outbreak first began. With several headquarters, offices, retail stores, and factories being shut-down, several indefinitely, the supply of manufactured goods has taken a hit. Apple has reported shortages in replacement iPhones, the Asus ROG phone II will not be available till further notice, and Facebook has stopped taking orders for its latest Oculus Quest VR headset, amongst various others.

While it’s fascinating to see how an outbreak of a virus can affect a seemingly dissociated sector, it certainly is concerning. Till when this will last and what else is in store, we will only know in due time.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3cxcmu3

How fares the tourism landscape?

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The tourism industry took a major hit owing to the Coronavirus. Source: MarketWatch.com

With coronavirus wreaking havoc around the world, the tourism industry has turned out to be one of the major casualties. Many Chinese cities have been quarantined and at least 14 countries have restricted travel to and from the most populous country. Therefore, it is no surprise that global tourism, that relies heavily on the influx of Chinese tourists, has taken an unprecedented hammering.

With the number of visitors from the world’s second-largest economy numbering up to 150 million in 2019, and with a revenue of over 130 billion dollars from the tourists’ overseas spending, China has served to bolster the tourism sector worldwide. Russia’s tourism industry is already set to lose $100 million because of the government’s decision to repel Chinese citizens. In France, Chinese visitors brought in 7% of the 3.6 billion pound income in 2018. Paris museums, which are usually bustling with these tourists, sport a deserted look post the coronavirus outbreak.

With the global economy at stake, world leaders are frantically taking measures to thwart the unceasing proliferation of the cases worldwide. It remains to be seen how long it will take for the mushrooming of the virus cases to be brought down to innocuous levels.

Read more at https://on.ft.com/2TGG07j

Precautions that one must take

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For more such precautions, do visit who.int (also the source of this image)

We’ve addressed some of the issues the coronavirus COVID-19 has caused, so it is natural for us to address some basic precautions we could all take for safety.

  1. Keep your hands clean, with hand wash or hand sanitizers. It is important to wash up after coughing or sneezing.
  2. Practice respiratory hygiene, by covering up your mouth and nose, with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Seek medical care if you have a fever, or find yourself coughing. While getting admitted to a hospital might seem nerve-wracking, it is the only logical solution to a problem like this.
  4. Avoid crowded environments and maintain a social distance from anyone who appears to be sick.

Read more at https://bit.ly/2xexBkb

It’s important to note that while coronavirus COVID-19 has a notorious reputation, most people recover after a mild illness.

So, keep yourselves safe!

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