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US scholar says two-metre distance too short

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A US professor has dismissed the two-metre distance rule as not enough to give protection from Covid-19, saying it is based on old science.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher, Prof Lydia Bouroiba, said the two-metre “social distancing” recommendation is too close – and that to avoid the virus, people have to keep much farther – possibly eight metres.

“Although such social distancing strategies are critical in the current time of pandemic, it may seem surprising that the current understanding of the routes of hostto-host transmission in respiratory infectious diseases are predicated on a model of disease transmission developed in the 1930s that, by modern standards, seems overly simplified,” Prof Bouroiba says in her paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

She also warns that besides the cough and sneeze droplets, people have to be wary of “turbulent gas cloud” that traps and carries within it the virus.

“The locally moist and warm atmosphere within the turbulent gas cloud allows the contained droplets to evade evaporation for much longer than occurs with isolated droplets. Under these conditions, the lifetime of a droplet could be considerably extended by a factor of up to 1,000, from a fraction of a second to minutes,” says the professor who studies the fluid dynamics of disease transmission.

While her research had previously focused on flu, she says the current six-feet guideline is based on an assumption that viruses are transmitted only through droplets from coughs or sneezes.

The researcher says that there is not enough data on how the virus is spreading. At the moment, transmission is classified into large droplets, which fall closer to the affected person and smaller droplets, which evaporate before settling on a surface and which can be carried farther by the wind. The scholar says a powerful sneeze can send droplets flying more than the recommended two metres and that a gas cloud with the droplets can travel seven to eight metres.

“Moreover, throughout the trajectory, droplets of all sizes settle out or evaporate at rates that depend not only on their size, but also on the

degree of turbulence and speed of the gas cloud, coupled with the properties of the environment (temperature, humidity and airflow).”

She says that “droplets that settle along the trajectory can contaminate surfaces, while the rest remain trapped and clustered in the moving cloud.”

“Eventually the cloud and its droplet payload lose momentum and coherence, and the remaining droplets within the cloud evaporate, producing residues or droplet nuclei that may stay suspended in the air for hours, following airflow patterns imposed by ventilation or climate- control systems,” she says.

Whether ventilation systems are also helping spread the virus is not known, but she says that a 2020 report from China “demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 particles could be found in the ventilation systems in hospital rooms of patients with Covid-19”.

While the WHO is currently recommending that healthcare workers should stay one metre from a person exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, the researcher says that “these distances are based on estimates of range that have not considered the possible presence of a high-momentum cloud carrying the droplets long distances.”

“For these and other reasons, wearing of appropriate personal protection equipment is vitally important for healthcare workers caring for patients who may be infected, even if they are farther than six feet away from a patient,” Prof Bouroiba says.

On whether masks can help filter the virus, she says they can reduce the spread from an infected person and for protection of the wearer.

But White House has dismissed her findings: “I’m sorry, but I was disturbed by that report because that’s misleading,” said Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House task force.

For these and other reasons, wearing of appropriate personal protection equipment is vitally important for healthcare workers.”

By Daily Nation


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Health

PS Kibicho reveals he contracted coronavirus

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Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has revealed that he contracted coronavirus and recovered after undergoing treatment.

While addressing mourners in Kirinyaga County on Friday Dr Kibicho said Covid-19 is not a death sentence.

“I tested positive for coronavirus, but I was treated and discharged from hospital,” he said at Gathuthuini Primary School during the funeral service of a local church leader.

“I am a living example. Those who are suffering from the disease should not worry because they will get well,” he said, adding that out of 100 people who contract the disease in Kenya only two succumb to it.

Dr Kibicho advised Kenyans to be tested for the disease because it is curable.

“Kenyans should be tested to know their status so that they can be treated,” he said.

The PS also urged Kenyans not to stigmatise people who have contracted the virus.

“Covid-19 patients should be showed love and not rejection. When the patients are abandoned, they become depressed and may take longer to recover,” he said.

He also underscored the need for everyone to continue observing protocols issued by the Ministry of Health to control the spread of Covid-19.

“People should wear masks, sanitise regularly, wash their hands and avoid crowded places,” he said.

The PS further said that city residents should avoid travel during the holidays.

“If I had power, I would lock Nairobi during the festive season to curb spread of the dis-ease to rural areas,” Dr Kibicho said.


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Business

Carpenter hopes payday in sight in 27-year fight over presidential seats

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For the past 27 years, Solomon Njoroge Kiore has battled with the government over a debt that was initially Sh195 million but has now ballooned to more than Sh500 million in an unpaid bill for presidential furniture he delivered.

Tomorrow (Monday), Mr Kiore will go to the High Court in Milimani hoping that the end is in sight as he is supposed to get a hearing date for a case that has had many twists and turns.

In 1992, Mr Kiore, the proprietor of Furncon, a furniture company, won a government tender to supply presidential furniture but down the line, the deal went sour when the military officials returned the chairs a year after President Daniel arap Moi had used them — allegedly without payment.

The chairs had been acquired through the Ministry of Defence and approved by State House, according to court documents.

The government has denied failing to make the payment and he went to court to seek redress in 2007.

Although Mr Moi used the chairs for a year, Furncon says the military returned them to his workshop.

With the matter dragging through the courts for years, in February 2018, a decision was reached to settle out of court.

But the parties could not agree on the amount to be paid, with the businessman citing lack of goodwill on the side of the state.

Sh527 million

That year, Mr Kiore was seeking Sh527 million, being the price, court costs and storage charges.

He told the court he did not receive any invitation to negotiate a settlement.

Then last year, Symon Yator Cheberek, a military colonel, took over the case after Attorney General Kihara Kariuki appointed him to represent the state in all civil matters in which the Ministry of Defence is a party.

High Court judge Joseph Sergon allowed Col Cheberek to act for the state, but Mr Kiore objected this saying allowing a military officer to take up the matter was tantamount to court-martialling him.

“There can never be a situation where a civilian can be in court one on one with a distinctive disciplined and uniformed force,” he stated in an affidavit on March 25, 2019.

Col Cheberek said he is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the Attorney General was in order to appoint him.

Mr Kiore wants Justice Sergon to recuse himself from hearing the matter, alleging bias and citing a 2017 ruling by Justice Philip Mwongo barring the military from taking over the case.

Justice Sergon has declined the recusal plea, saying the claims of bias could not be proved.

 Now, Mr Kiore says his business has died, as he can no longer use the premises where he has kept the chair as it is an instrument of power.

“It was used by a President for a year. It is treasured and therefore no one is supposed to touch it. My business has suffered immensely because of this seat,” he says in his court documents.

In a letter dated May 10, 2001, the Attorney General informed Mr Kiore that the Department of Defence had extended a without-prejudice offer purely out of honour and respect for presidential instruments.

“However, having realised that your claims include other items worth millions of shillings reflective of your other financial issues not related to the chair in question, it has not been possible to formally make the offer to you,” states the letter signed by V Onyango, a deputy litigation officer at the State Law Office.

Admission of liability

The offer, the officer states, is not the government’s admission of liability, because “the said chairs were ordered by the Agricultural Society of Kenya”.

The September 1992 deal was not the first. Mr Kiore’s company had sold furniture for VIP use in State functions to the government before.

He says the seat was made under strict supervision of the military and State House staff.

The firm says it was asked to make more furniture for presidential lounges at the Eldoret Moi Airbase and Kahawa Garrison and deliver the chairs to the Agricultural Society of Kenya offices in Nairobi for a three-day presidential function.

But the President ordered that the furniture remain at the ASK offices, according to a letter by the ASK dated August 5, 1999.

Now, Furncon wants a declaration that the ownership of the items was passed on to the government in September 1992, under the National Flag, Emblems and Names Act and as such they are instruments of power.

by nation africa


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Business

Go Green na Optiven

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It is the responsibility of everyone to tender and care for the planet for better and healthier future generations.

 

We call upon you to join any of these categories:

 

1. Those who are more environmentally friendly

 

2. Those who are ecologically responsible in both their decision making and lifestyles

 

3. Those who protect environment

 

4. Those who protect and sustain the natural resources in their area of business

 

5. Those who help to conserve resources like water, air and vegetation

 

6. Those who produce eco-friendly products, thus preventing pollution of our air, water and land

 

7. Those who can prove that they have been using Green Energy/clean energy such as solar power or if using conventional energy; they are using eco-friendly bulbs and that save energy.

 

How can each play a role this is a highlight of just but a few but you can  put your   role that  you are doing  to promote the  green agenda

 

1. Builders/Engineers/Architects/Interiors designers

i. Use of solar energy/ Use of solar panels

ii. Use of Energy saving bulbs, florescent tubes

iii. Use of organic paints, light friendly windows

iv. Use of Eco-friendly toilets

v. Harvesting of rain water from roof tops, use roofs that are Eco-friendly, ensure that water does not go to waste

vi. Proof of reduction of water bills as a result of going green

vii. Water recycling technologies like Bio digester

viii. Those whose provide green buildings, Eco-friendly homes

 

2. Farming, gardening, landscaping experts

i. Use of drip or sprinkler on not flooding water while gardening or farming

ii. Use of organic pesticides

iii. Use of organic manure

iv. Those who increase forests cover

 

3. Health businesses, Schools, Hospitals

i. Those providing natural skin care products & not petroleum or synthetic ingredients on the products

ii. Those offering advice on going green, creating awareness of going green

iii. Those who teach children on being a friend of the earth

iv. Those who buy from ethical farmers who are known to produce organic products

 

4. Transport industry, drivers, delivery companies and logistics firms/organizations

i. Those who reduce carbon emissions directly or indirectly

ii. Any Awareness of climate change

iii. Any knowledge of carbon emissions and how to reduce?

 

5. Property Owners within Optiven Projects

i. Planting of trees in their plots

ii. Adoption of water recycling technology

iii. Establishment of Green Spaces

iv. Proper waste disposal

 

6. SMEs

i. Those who recycle waste

ii. Those manufacturing from the recycled materials

iii. Those who take proper care of electronic wastes

iv. Tech companies that have a green policy on disposal of electric waste

v. SMEs that can prove awareness of global warming

 

7. Families

i. Those who adopt any of the going green initiative say family tree planting, planting a tree during birthday instead of having a birthday cake or doing both

ii. With children who are aware of climate change and also alive to ways of preventing in preventing it

iii. Families that are involved in separation of different form of waste and or engaged in any form of recycling

 

8. Hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, entertainment joins

i. Provision of organic food to customers

ii. Support of local farmers who do organic farming

iii. Awareness of climate change and its risks to humanity

 

9. Decision makers- checking the green component in your venture

i. Any policy decisions on going green

ii. Awareness on global warming

iii. Any knowledge of implementation of United Nations Development Goals

 

10. Children: If you are a child who is school going or otherwise and you have started being sensitive to the planet by doing conservation activities

 

11. Others: If you  believe that you are a friend of the planet, let us know

 

https://youtu.be/45nfQZYQeKU

 

#SaveTheEarth

#SaveOurPlanet

#GoingGreen=Healthy Families

 

George Wachiuri

Trustee

Optiven Foundation

www.optivenfoundation.org


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