Older People are Physically and Mentally More Fit than Older People in the 1990’s

The physical and mental health of older people is much better than their age-fellows from the 1990s. This change was observed and explained by a recent study under the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland).  It revealed that being physically and mentally fit has helped to increase the life expectancy of older adults.

This study analyzed the physical and mental health of people from 45-80 years old range and compared the outcomes to the same age people from 1990s.

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Taina Rantanen, the lead researcher of this study says that they used different performance-based measures to see how these older people do their routine tasks. Then they evaluated the effects of these measurements on their cognitive health.

Among all participants, different factors such as speech, speed, verbal communication, memory, and everything is much better than thirty years ago. These people are more physically and mentally fit than people who are older than 80 years old. But some factors such as the lungs test were studied without identifying the differences in these cohorts.

An overall increase in the body size of these people and increased physical stamina ensures good walking speed as compared to people who were born before these people. among the highly significant underlying factors in these differences was the longer education.

A bigger body size increased age expectancy and improve physical and mental health all are much better than other older people who were born before these people. It shows that these people have grown up with a little different environment as compared to older adults 30 years ago.

There are many things that have changed, for example, better dietary habits, improved healthcare system, better education, accessibility to health and education, and much more productive life.

The increased life expectancy not only means more years to life but also shows better health. This observation is accompanied by the least chances of getting sick, better treatment facilities, and overall improved life.

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This study produces unique results because there is not much evidence on how the older generation is different from their counterparts of a few years ago. It may also give a feeling that understanding a person’s old age is somewhat old-fashioned which is considered to be lazy, sick, and vulnerable.

From the researchers’ point of view, the old age doesn’t always mean weak, sick, and bed-ridden. The situation is pretty much changed after the improved lifestyle, better food availability, healthcare system, and changed parameters. Right now, two entirely opposite things are happening together; one is that life expectancy is increasing. And second, the number of old people is also increasing.


Man Filing a Lawsuit Against Starbucks For Potentially Burning His Genitals with Steaming Hot Tea

Tommy Piluyev, a 24 years old man is filing a lawsuit against Starbucks, the international coffee giant as a defect in their cups reportedly burnt this man’s genitals. The guy ordered hot tea at Starbucks which had a temperature of almost 100C but this tea was spilled due to the defect in the cap while he was sitting in his car. This incident took place in Roseville, California, making him suffer second-grade burns.

Tommy picked a take away order and while he was receiving his ordered tea, a sufficient amount of the tea leaked on his body while he was still seated in the car. His lawsuit explains the tremendous intensity of pain that he suffered that he eventually chooses to park his car nearby, take off his trousers, and see how the tea has burnt his genitals.

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He calls this experience excruciating as getting naked and sex is extremely awkward and somehow painful for him after this incidence. The skin discoloration caused by the tea spill has affected his genitals as well as thighs, affecting his confidence.

The father of one is a resident of California who was immediately rushed to a hospital for the burns. The lawyers report that he had to spend 11 days in the hospital for getting his burns treated, learning to function normally.

This incident took place two years ago back in October 2018. Piluyev and his wife Liudmila Maftey are together in this lawsuit against Starbucks as well as the cup making company named “Pactiv Packaging” for the negligence charges along with the product liability charges.

Piluyev ordered two grande of the honey citrus mint teas from the Starbucks drive-thru located in the Roseville near Sacramento.

The lawsuit says that Piluyev experienced severe burnt injuries after the lid almost missed its seal and dislodged from the cup.  The tea was directly spilled on the hand of the Piluyev and burnt his hands, belly, and pelvis.

While his car was still in the drive-thru it wasn’t possible for him to rush out of the car so he rushed the car and stopped by the nearest parking lot.  The hospital where he went for getting the emergency care for blisters that showed up on his stomach, penis, thighs, scrotum, and peritoneum.

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There are photos of him admitted to the hospital while receiving the treatment for the burnt wounds.

The lawsuit explains Piluyev to be suffering from the intravenous pain along with huge blisters that require intensive care. His condition made him dependent upon other people even for the smallest things including the personal grooming and cleaning as he was even unable to move his fingers.

After he was discharged from the hospital, his wife was taking care of him for five months, after which he was finally able to walk and take care of himself. Piluyev reports that his condition has made sex extremely painful for him and he doesn’t even feel confident about himself. He is also not able to do other things that he once enjoyed especially playing the piano after getting these second-degree burns.



The New Experimental Antiviral Drug Test on Monkeys

The scientists are infecting the laboratory monkeys with a lethal strain of coronavirus for the purpose of testing an experimental antiviral drug. The research team at the United States National Institutes of Health has tested this experimental drug against viral infections on 18 rhesus macaques. 

For the first time, this experimental antiviral drug was developed against Ebola. The team of researchers infected all the laboratory monkeys with MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus). 

The outbreak of this deadly strain of coronavirus has affected nearly 80,000 individuals and led to a death toll of almost 2,600. The research team has analyzed the outcomes in laboratory monkeys after they received the experimental antiviral drug – redeliver.

The results indicated that signs of MERS disease (infection caused by MERS-CoV) were present in all the monkeys that didn’t receive redeliver. The experts in this field observed that signs of this infection were present in six control monkeys. These signs involved an increased rate of respiration, ruffled fur, and decreased appetite.

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Besides this, another finding of this study suggests that any sort of symptoms regarding respiratory disease were absent in the six monkeys who received redeliver 24 hours before getting infected with this deadly MERS-CoV

On the contrary, the signs of disease were present in the lab monkeys that were given this experimental antiviral drug almost 12 hours after scientists infected them with this lethal virus. But still, the signs of disease, in this case, were much less than that of the control group. The viral content in the lungs decreases with a decrease in disease severity. 

The scientists expect that this drug would also be effective in tackling SARS-CoV-2, because of its structural resemblance with MERS-CoV. The cases of this deadly virus have extended from China to 30 other countries. This deadly virus (COVID-19) has infected above 20,000 patients, whereas, the death toll has reached 2,600.

In 2020, MERS-CoV was reported in Saudi Arabia for the first time. Its symptoms involve diarrhea, cough, and fever. But the cases weren’t limited to countries like UK, USA, and UAE. According to a statement given by the researchers at the National Institute of health, MERS-CoV has resemblance with 2019-nCoV.

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In the past, this new experimental antiviral drug – Remdesivir was being used for providing protection to the laboratory animals against different viruses used in lab experiments. In this recent experimental trial, this new drug has been found to be effective in the treatment of Ebola and Nipah viruses. 

Originally, this plant-related drug was freely available for its testing. And at least two trials of the drug,  that was developed for Ebola treatment, are known to be enough. These motivating results of the study have been presented in a prestigious medical journal, that is also known as The New England Journal of Medicine.

In laboratories, the monkeys were being used as lab animals for the treatment of test vaccines and drugs, and are preferred because of their resemblance with the chimpanzee. The study also suggests that Remdesivir performs its antiviral function and block proteins.

Mobile Phones and Smartwatches can Predict Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus is spreading like anything while there is still no conclusive research on it. The transmission of this virus has been a question from the beginning of the pandemic. As it seems like the only way to prevent coronavirus is to “avoid” it. The new study assumes mobile phones and smartwatches can predict coronavirus in a person using his basic data.

Duke University is trying to investigate this virus which is now global. The identification of its spread program “CovIdentify” has more than 4000 international members, all working to predict the virus’s progression.

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This study highlights the role of common electronic devices like mobile phones and smartwatches to identify coronavirus in a user. By saying that these electronic devices are helpful min identifying means to know if the user of these devices has coronavirus.

Dr. Jessilyn Dunn, a researcher, and teacher from Duke University says that these devices can predict accurate data. Whenever a person gets into a healthcare facility, he knows some basic symptoms and information which is also achievable form his devices.

Instead of relying on self-reported cases, it is high time to find a more advanced system to predict coronavirus in a person. Testing everyone independently takes so much time, effort, and resources. Sometimes it reduces the chances of diagnosis for a person who is actually in need of a diagnosis. In the worst case, these vulnerable people can lose their lives while other people receive a negative coronavirus report.

Testing the entire population is only a preference when there is control over this virus. But testing people randomly which may or may not have coronavirus and leaving other, highly susceptible people without testing is not a wise thing. In this regard, a little help from technology seems like a new hope.

This study has initially used online participants only. These participants answered questions that were a part of the CovIdentify study. But now, the research team has developed the CovIdentify phone app which all enrolled people can download and use.

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This study aims to find whether or not the phone and smartphone data can predict coronavirus or not. Even if it does, how much severe can it go for the individual user? All that it takes is to answer two questions every day for at least 12 months.

The researchers request everyone to open up and play a role in learning how to improve coronavirus testing and diagnosis. This is the only way to save people from extreme stages of coronavirus.

Anyone can sign up and be a part of this project. All that takes is to download the app on any electronic device i.e. phone, laptop, etc. The app asks two questions every day which needs accurate answers. Based on responses, the research team will soon come up with interesting results that could help to predict coronavirus in people.



Are Face Masks making it hard to Recognise a Face?

Having a tough time recognizing people behind a face mask? Facial recognition algorithms are finding it difficult too. As politicians and doctors are struggling to convince people to take the smallest of precautions against the virus by wearing a face mask, the department of homeland security is concerned that face masks are breaking facial recognition algorithms of the police. A study published by an agency showed that even the best facial recognition systems have an error rate of 5% to 50% when identifying masked faces.

The continuous threat of the coronavirus and its rapid spread around the globe has created a barrier in facial recognition’s global expansion as everyone is covering their faces. Even before the pandemic in so-called ideal conditions facial recognition technologies struggled with their accuracy and have a miserable record when identifying faces that are other than male or white. It can be said that the pandemic has given the police a brand-new crisis.

This mask problem is the reason that Apple has made it easier by enabling its users to unlock their iPhones without using Face ID. The algorithms that facial companies use rely significantly on facial markers around the nose, mouth, and eyes. However, while wearing face masks the mouth, nose, and majority of the chin and cheek are covered which makes it difficult to identify any person. The companies are now trying to upgrade their algorithms so that they can solely focus on identifiable markers around the eyes.

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The study conducted by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) examined the algorithms which were created before the coronavirus pandemic and now the researchers are assessing ways in which the effectiveness of the algorithms in detecting masked individuals can be improved.

NIST conducted a test of various software by drawing masks on the photos of people from a trove of border crossing photos. These were uploaded into facial recognition technologies together with unmasked photos from the same source. The agency scanned nearly 6 million images of 1 million people by making use of around 89 algorithms supplied by academic labs and tech firms.

NIST’s study shows that if the conditions are ideal the rate of failure is around 0.3 percent for the best recognition systems. However, this figure varies on the basis of a person’s race, age, and gender, and with a mask the failure rate increases to 5%.

Even before this pandemic governments of some countries were pursuing the technology that is capable of recognizing people trying to conceal their faces behind a mask. Face masks become a trademark for the protestors in Hong Kong because of fears of being arrested if they were identified and also to protect themselves against tear gas. Due to this the government of Hong Kong imposed a ban last year on face masks at all the public gatherings and if the protestors refused to remove the mask on police’s orders, they would have faced a potential jail term of 6 months.

Privacy Activists are looking for creative ways to conceal their faces. In London, artists who were not in favor of high surveillance, in an attempt to fail face detection systems, painted their faces with geometric shapes. Then as the covid19 outbreak came the health experts around the globe started encouraging people to wear masks covering nose and mouse.

NIST’s study shows that the way in which people wear masks and what masks they wear has a big impact on facial recognition systems. The results are unsurprising as the more facial features covered the harder it is for the system to recognize.

EU Leaders Announce Huge Coronavirus Recovery Package to Help Rebuild Europe’s Economy

European Union (EU) leaders have finally reached an agreement after almost five days of fraught discussions on a huge post coronavirus recovery package. The package involves 750bn euros which will be given as grants and loans over a period of seven years to the 27-member bloc to counter the impact of coronavirus pandemic. it’s the joint biggest borrowing ever agreed by the European Union.

What is the European Union budget? To finance policies at the European level the European Union has a budget. It is mainly is an investment budget and represents around 2% of all public spending in the EU. It implements priorities agreed upon by all the EU members which in line with the principle of proportionality and subsidiarity adds more effectiveness to EU nations then actions taken at the local, regional, or national level. The commission, the parliament and the council all have a say on how the budget will be allocated and what will be the size of the budget.

The European Commission will borrow the money and give half (390 billion euros) of it as grants to the nations hardest hit by the pandemic including Italy and Spain and the rest (360 billion euros) will be given as loans. A new European budget was also agreed by the leaders of nearly 1.1 trillion euros from 2021 through 2027 which will create a combined spending power of 1.8 trillion euros.

The EU leaders said in a joint declaration that this ambitious and comprehensive package combines the classical budget with a special recovery package designed to overcome the effects of the pandemic and is in the best interest of the European Union. The focus of the coronavirus recovery package is to provide funding on three pillars including investing to help protect from any similar crisis in the future, helping businesses to rebound from the effects of the pandemic, and rolling out new measures to reform economies over the long haul. The decision was made after days of deadlock and talks that can be described as one of the most bitterly divided in years.

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The EU is facing a big recession due to the pandemic and the hardest-hit countries need some economic and financial relief. The European Commission predicted a 7.4% slump IN 2020 in the EU economy but now it has risen to 8.3% which is considerably worse. Before today there were some disagreements regarding the conditions attached to the package, the overall size of the fund, and the mix of grants and loans.

The original plan of the commission included the coronavirus recovery package to be 500 billion euros which were to be distributed as grants and the remaining 250 billion as loans but the size of grants was contested by the so-called frugal countries, which include Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, and Denmark, as they were worried that funding the spending of other governments will burden them with debts.

The frugal nations were given the promise of rebates on their contributions to the EU budget which eventually won them over. French President Emmanuel Macron at one point banged his fists on the table as he believed that the frugal four were putting the European project in danger.

President of the European Council Charles Michel said at a press conference on Tuesday that this is a good and a strong deal and most importantly the right deal for Europe right now. He also said that it is the first time all European Union nations were jointly working to support each other against the crisis.

Researchers Explain How Pornography May be a New Public Health Crisis

According to the existing evidence, pornography has been described as a public health crisis. But there is a conflict in the researcher’s opinion regarding this issue.

Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers suggest that though pornography may have an undesirable effect on some of the people, considering it a public health emergency can lead to harm. They have reasoned against this claim in an editorial to be published in the February issue of the “American Journal of Public Health“.

Along with their argument against pornography as a public health emergency, they have also provided an explanation about why making such a claim can harm the public’s health.

Dr Emily F. Rothman is a Professor at Boston University School of Public Health in its Community Health Sciences Department. Dr Kimberly M. Nelson had knowledge about both psychology and public health and is an Assistant Professor at the same department of BUSPH.

In the editorial, they have written that presenting pornography as a public health concern or something that can harm public health is a political act. Additionally, this claim doesn’t manifest the best existing evidence and is based on an ideology that negates several fundamental principles of public health promotion.

Pornography has been acknowledged as a public health emergency in almost seventeen states of the U.S. via non-obligatory resolutions. But according to the authors, the public health crisis definition criterion isn’t fulfilled by pornography.

With the passage of time, there has been a slow and gradual increase in the use of pornography instead of a sudden climax.

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Further investigation has shown that pornography hasn’t any devastating effect on the local health systems. And one can’t expect direct and sudden population displacement, property destruction, disease, or death as a result of pornography.

The available evidence has shown that the use of pornography may lead to adverse effects on the health of some individuals. But Rothman and Nelson explained that many of these adverse health impacts were absent in a considerable number of people.

Instead, in some individuals, safer sexual behaviours like solo masturbation were observed as positive effects of pornography. Authors write that rather than ending pornography entirely, it is better to persuade the public to avoid extreme pornography and to limit its frequent use.

Taking these steps can facilitate in reducing the harms caused by pornography. In the same February issue of the journal, Dr Nelson and Dr Rothman have provided an outline regarding their pornography literacy program via the help of their colleagues.

This program may be proved as helpful for adolescents living in Boston. Rothman and Nelson have also answered the question “how describing pornography as a public health emergency may lead to deterioration of health?”

They have written that claiming pornography as public health crisis may cause shifts in funding sources or result in an unwarranted policy that may lead to a reduction in public health workforce to deal with real emergencies or crises.

They added that making such a claim for any sexual behaviour is adversative to public health and may limit sexual freedom.

Twitter Hack: Several High-Profile Accounts were Targeted in Arguably the Biggest Security Incident in Twitter’s History

A major security breach occurred on twitter on Wednesday which saw several high-profile Twitter accounts hacked. Cyber Security analysts have given a warning that the personal data belonging to the accounts targeted in the twitter hack may be compromised. The hackers used these accounts to spread a scam involving cryptocurrency. Official Twitter accounts of health organizations such as NHS, CDC, and WHO are also at the risk of being hacked.

Twitter support team believes that it was a social engineering attack by the hackers who targeted twitter staff with access to the internal tools and systems of twitter and got successful. More than 300 people were fooled by this twitter hack and sent more than 100,000 dollars to the hackers before the tweets were taken down and all the verified accounts were locked.

The accounts that were hacked included that of the former US president Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian West, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West, Warren Buffet and Mike Bloomberg, all of them were saying the same thing that they are feeling generous due to coronavirus and will pay back double in Bitcoins what the people will send to them.

These scams stating “double your Bitcoin” have been seen on Twitter for years but simultaneous hacking of actual accounts of several high-profile people on a large scale is unprecedented. So many people were scammed at the same time which implies that there is a problem with the Twitter platform itself.

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The motive of this twitter hack seemed clear that the hackers thought of making what money they can and what little time they had because it was obvious that these fake tweets won’t stay there for long. It’s important to remember however that cyber-criminals are known to fill their bitcoin wallets using their own funds to make the people believe that the scam was successful.

Many angry users and law enforcement will have some questions for Twitter management as to how could this happen. A hack of this nature is not only concerning due to any financial scams but also the majority of world leaders including US President Donald Trump use twitter and make some important announcements on the social media platform. A potential hack that may take control of these accounts could have huge consequences.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said it was a tough day for all the people connected with twitter’s management. He assured the people that he and his team will share complete details when they know more about what exactly happened. Dorsey’s own twitter account was hacked last year but the mechanism due to which that hack occurred was fixed, so that mechanism has no reason to be blamed in this case.

Security experts believe that it is fortunate that the hackers were only interested in earning some bitcoins or else they could have caused mass chaos across the globe. Twitter’s share price suffered due to this hack as it went down by more than 4 percent in late trading. It has started recovering since.

While some states have been known to be involved in the hacking of social media platforms, there are suggestions that this twitter hack was the work of amateurs. This attack has revealed the flaws in twitter’s internal system which could be exploited by terrorist organizations in the future to cause chaos or even start a war.

New Study Explains What Causes Infertility in Women

Infertility in women affects a large number of relationships around the world and one of the primary factors that influence the ability of a person to procreate is age. Infertility is the inability to get pregnant and instead of a deficiency, it is considered as a disease all over the world. Approximately, one of every eight U.S couples is attempting to get pregnant or keep up a pregnancy.

In the course of the most recent six years, a group of Estonian geneticists drove by Associate Professor Agne Velthut-Meikas and Ph.D. student Ilmatar Rooda from the TalTech Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology have analyzed genes previously related basically with female hormone synthesis and ovarian follicle improvement. The findings propose that these genes may play a more complex role in oocyte development than previously accepted

Bidirectional communication i.e. signaling must happen between the cells in the ovary for the generation of a new life and oocyte maturation. A small filled sac called follicle where an oocyte resides ruptures at ovulation and release the oocyte into the oviduct.

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For oocyte maturation and its release from the follicle, the follicle, and the oocyte cells i.e. granulosa cells encompassing it must exchange signals with one another over a specific timeframe. Some hormones are also produced by these granulosa cells that are important for effective adherence of the embryo to the uterus wall and the survival of early pregnancy. 

Some common causes of infertility in women are endometriosis, implantation failure, problems with the menstrual cycle, structural problems of the reproductive system, failure of an egg to mature properly, infections, and failure to ovulate.

Study in detail here.

Velthut-Meikas, an associate Professor says that in addition to other things, the production and working of two proteins in ovarian granulosa cells are required. These significant proteins are aromatase and the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR). FSHR gets the signal of a follicle-stimulation hormone from the pituitary organ, prompting the growth of ovarian follicle and proliferation of granulosa cells.

The present study demonstrates that these genes are produced besides the small RNA molecules (microRNAs) and the hitherto known proteins which after binding to their target genes, determine if these genes assume their expected role in a cell. The microRNA targets are responsible for crucial infertility in women.

In this way, the previously mentioned proteins, already undescribed short microRNA atoms are from aromatase and FSHR genes. The microRNA targets got from the FSHR gene assume basic roles in activating the oocyte maturation and ovarian follicle development. The microRNA targets derived from the aromatase gene are associated with initiating changes in the ovarian tissue required for the process of ovulation.

Both microRNAs probably regulate the functioning of different tissues including mammary glands, the endometrium, adipose tissue, etc and the synthesis of steroid hormones in the ovary.

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Agne Velthut-Meikas says that these study findings are helpful because they provide completely new information on how ovaries function. This information is extremely valuable for diagnosing the reasons for infertility in women and finding new treatment options for them. 

Another highly topical issue is the fertility of cancer patients and everyone around the globe is trying to preserve its ripeness. This includes a process where some portion of the patient’s gonad tissue is frozen before chemotherapy that demolishes the follicles. So, women can conceive their biological children after treatment. The way toward continuing oocyte development from frozen tissue should be studied more.


President Putin hosted a Mask free Victory Parade to Boost Approval Ratings

Forgetting about Russia’s ongoing battle against covid19 President Putin celebrated the country’s victory against Nazi 75 years ago. He presided over a huge mask free victory parade that included thousands of soldiers without facemasks ignoring coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of Russian people turned out to celebrate the annual celebration of the Russian army defeating the Nazis but only a few of them remembered that Russia is the third most affected country by the coronavirus pandemic with more than 600,000 cases as they ignored social distancing and wearing masks.

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The parade was initially scheduled on 9TH of May, a festive annual holiday which they call as Victory day. The outbreak of the virus delayed it for 6 weeks. The virus is still growing in Russia with nearly 614000 cases and 8600 deaths, though its spread is slowed.

Veterans aged between the 80s and 90s attended the celebration at which 14000 soldiers marched to martial music in tight formations. Nearly all of these veterans forgot about masks and ongoing pandemic.

So how did the veterans defy the virus? Well according to Mr. Putin 28 of those veterans spent more than 14 days in quarantine at a place outside Moscow.

Mr. Putin was hoping that this celebration will lift the mood of his country. The coronavirus pandemic has reduced his approval rating to an all-time low. By celebrating victory day Mr. Putin was surely looking to undo some of the damage the pandemic has done to his rating.

Some of the world leaders were planning to attend the celebration in May before it was moved. Among those were President of France Emmanuel Macron, President of Serbia, Alexander Vucic, and the leaders of Moldova and Belarus.

India and China, looking for Russia’s support due to their recent clashes in the border region of Ladakh, sent some of their leaders and soldiers. China sent the biggest foreign contingent.

Some critics were wary that Mr. President is gambling with the health of the public to gather more votes for his future. The voting will begin on Thursday that could give Putin the presidency of Russia till 2036 if he wins of course.

Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, requested the public to watch the parade on their TV screens instead of coming out as they usually do. But tens of thousands ignored his request and went out anyway. The gathering was still smaller than the usual.

One of the residents who ignored the request of the mayor said she went out to watch the parade as it was much more interesting to see it live.

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Russia reported around 7500 cases on Thursday which is still less than a daily count of 10000 in May, but the public officials are concerned as the battle with coronavirus pandemic is still not over.

The risks of the spread of coronavirus can be estimated by the fact that two of the official delegates traveling from Kyrgyzstan were tested positive for the virus. The Kyrgyz President who was with them stayed away from the parade.

Whether this mask free victory parade was a wise move or not. The outcomes of Mr. president’s celebration in times of coronavirus pandemic will be here in a few weeks.