08:11 GMT29 March 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): While a cure for COVID-19 has yet to be found, the pandemic has so far taken lives of 16,231 globally. In India, the total number of confirmed cases has risen to 519; however, 40 people have so far been cured and discharged too after testing positive for Novel Coronavirus.

    India's Prime Minister declared a countrywide lockdown on Tuesday (24 March) for three weeks, due to the increased number of positive cases of COVID-19 in India. But some segments of the population are still looking for answers related to the pandemic. For instance, they want to know if it is airborne, and if the upcoming summer season will mitigate the effect of the virus.

    Clarifying some of the myths, actor Priyanka Chopra took part in a live conversation with World Health Organization (WHO) General-Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s Technical Lead for Covid-19.

    Priyanka shared the entire conversation on Instagram with a caption: “There is so much information circulating about Covid-19. And right now we’re all searching for clarity. My friends at @WHO and @glblctzn graciously brought the doctors working on the front lines here to give us answers straight from the experts.”

    The famed “Quantico” actress started a Question and Answer round, with the first query coming from her singer husband Nick Jonas.

    Reflecting on his personal health, Nick expressed that he is a type one diabetic, and that his wife is an asthmatic and asked if they are more likely to get infected fast, keeping in mind their pre-existing conditions. Kerkhove advised that they both were taking the right precautions by staying at home, but that others who don’t have pre-existing conditions should also do the same thing.

    Priyanka then moved onto other questions and asked if the virus is airborne to which Kerkhove replied No.
    The actor did, however, say that the virus can be transmitted through fomites, which means the virus can remain on surfaces.However she clarified that it doesn’t mean that the disease can simply be transferred by touching an infected surface.

    She also clarified that the virus has been observed to have spread in different climates, such as China and Singapore, so it is not clear if it would die down in warm weather.

    Giving a good news, Dr. Ghebreyesus said the work on creating a vaccine is underway and that it would take 12-18 months for it to be developed.

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown for the next 21 days to contain the spread of novel Coronavirus in the country. Beginning Tuesday-Wednesday midnight, the lockdown would last until 15 April. However he promised people that services like food supplies and medicines would remain uninterrupted.

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