• Current Affairs, 4 April 2020

    NATIONAL NEWS

    1. Centre urges people to download ‘Aarogya Setu’ App to assess risk of Coronavirus infection

    • Government today said that a total 30 lakh people have downloaded the Aarogya Setu App. Health and Family Welfare Ministry has urged all the citizens to download this app as this enable people to assess themselves the risk for their catching Coronavirus infection.
    • Briefing media in New Delhi today, Joint Secretary in Health and Family Welfare Ministry, Lav Agarwal said, total 2301 confirmed cases of Coronavirus have been reported in the country and 157 patients have been recovered. He said, 56 people have lost their lives in the country so far.
    • He said, during the last two days, 647 confimed cases from 14 states have been reported from those who participated in the Tabligi Jammat in Nizammudin, Markaz, New Delhi. He said, these cases have surged the numbers of confirmed cases in the country.
    • Agarwal said, Agriculture Ministry is promoting the e-NAM so that farmers can sell their products online to ensure social distancing. He said, as of now 585 mandis are linked with e-NAM and work is in progress to add 415 mandies in future. He said, Defence Research and Development Organization is developing a bio suits for the health professionals. He said, Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has expressed his concern over the attack on health care professionals and urged the people to not to create hindrances in duties performed by health care professionals.
    • Joint Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs, Punya Salila Srivastava said that Centre has asked the states to provide security to the health care professionals. She said, Central government has also requested the state Governments to disburse the benefits of Prime Minister Garib Kalyan package to the beneficiaries at the earliest.
    • Srivastava said that Ministry of Home Affairs has blacklisted the 960 foreigners who participated in the Tabligi Jamaat and the strict action will be taken against them under the provisions of Disaster Management Act and Foreigners Act. She said, deportation of these people will be made following the standard protocols.
    • She said, blacklisting process has been started against those 360 people who have participated in the Tabligi Jammat and returned to their countries. Ms. Srivastava said that all the DGPs and Police Commissioners have been told to take strict actions against the visa violators under the Disaster Management Act and Foreigners Act.
    • She informed that two new helpline numbers have been added in addition to seven helplines. She said, two new helpline numbers are 1930 which is an all India toll free number and 1944 which is launched for the North Eastern people.
    • Manoj from Indian Council of Medical Reasearch has said that 182 laboratories have been given approval so far to conduct the corona virus testing. He said, out of these, 130 are the government laboratories and 52 are private laboratories chains.
    • He said, yesterday eight thousand samples have been tested which is the highest figure. He informed that total 66 thousands samples have been tested so far. He said, guidelines related to rapid diagnostic test will be released tomorrow.
    1. ARCI, Hyderabad produces hand sanitizer as per WHO standards

    • International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials, ARCI, Hyderabad has produced hand sanitizer as per the WHO standards and distributed it among police personnel in Hyderabad, students and staff of the institution. A team of scientists, students, and staff voluntarily came forward and produced about 40 liters of sanitizer.
    • The complete idea of production, packaging and distribution was completed in just 6 hours. Meanwhile, the order of lockdown was announced and many of the students were leaving for their home towns. For their safety, a bottle of hand sanitizer and a face mask was given to most of them who were traveling. The sanitizer was also distributed to all the security staff, people working in the canteen, scientists and also placed at common areas and entry gates. Team spirit, desire to contribute in disaster management, care, and concern about the ARCI family made this possible within a very short time.
    • Subsequently, given the risk being taken by the police personnel who are working relentlessly to enforce the social distancing, ARCI Director Dr. G Padmanabham directed the team to increase the preparation of sanitizer so that it can be distributed among them. Accordingly, a substantial quantity of sanitizer was prepared and handed over to DCP Rachakonda Commissionerate Sunpreet Singh by ARCI’s Senior Scientist Dr. R Vijay.
    • The Deputy Commissioner of Police, while appreciating the support extended by the scientists, requested for more quantity to provide for as many personnel as possible. ARCI has made all arrangements to produce large quantities of sanitizer and provide it in easy to dispense 100 ml bottles, which the police personnel can easily carry with them in their pockets. Each bottle could last more than a week for each police personnel.
    • Padmanabham conveyed his appreciation to all the team members who contributed to this effort and encouraged them and other scientists to come up with more ideas to fight COVID-19.
    1. DRDO ready with 2 configurations of sanitising equipment to combat Coronavirus Pandemic

     

    • In the continuing quest for developing indigenous solutions to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is ready with technologies for sanitising areas of different sizes. The Centre for Fire Explosive & Environment Safety (CFEES), Delhi has developed two configurations of sanitising equipment. These are spinoffs from technologies developed for fire suppression applications.
    • The CFEES, Delhi with the help of its industry partner has developed portable sanitisation equipment for spraying decontamination solution consisting of one per cent Hypochlorite (HYPO) solution for sanitisation of suspected area.
    • The portable system can be mounted as a backpack and can be carried by the operations personnel. This system incorporates low pressure twin fluid (air & disinfectant liquid) technology to generate very fine mist. The system is capable of disinfecting upto 300 square metre area. The application areas can include hospital reception, doctor chambers, office spaces dealing with general public, corridors, pathways, metro and railway stations, bus stations, etc.
    • The Centre with the help of its industry partner has also developed a higher capacity which is carried on a trolley. The system incorporates low pressure single fluid (disinfectant liquid) technology generating very fine mist. It is capable of disinfecting upto 3,000 square metre area.
    • It has a tank capacity of 50 litres and has a lancing (throw) distance of 12-15 metres. This is useful for disinfecting hospitals, malls, airports, metro stations, isolation areas, quarantine centres and high risk residential areas.
    • Two of these systems are being provided to Delhi Police for immediate use. These can be made available to other agencies with the help of industry partners.

     

    1. NE Region’s international border is effectively closed to enforce lockdown: Minister of DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh

    • Minister for Development of North Eastern Region, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that the region’s international border has been effectively closed to enforce lockdown.
    • The Minister held a detailed review with the officers of the Ministry, North Eastern Council, NEC and North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited, NEDFI in view of the COVID 19 pandemic. He reviewed  measures to fight the virus in the North Eastern Region. The Minister was informed that hundred percent work of the Ministry was being done on e-Office.
    • The lockdown in the North Eastern Region states is being effectively enforced and approximately 5500 kilometres long international border has been effectively closed.
    • All officers and staff of Ministry of DoNER and its organizations and PSUs have contributed one day’s salary to PM-CARES fund. NEDFI is contributing Rs Two Crore to PM-CARES fund out of their CSR funds.
    • The Ministry has already sanctioned Rs 25 crore to North Eastern States for gap funding to fight the COVID-19 outbreak effectively. This fund would be in the nature of untied fund, which can be utilized on any activity relating to COVID-19 Pandemic and not covered under existing central packages. The funds are in addition to the funds otherwise allocated by the Ministry of DoNER or NEC to the North Eastern States under the existing schemes.
    • Ministry has also sought projects for strengthening of Health Infrastructure in North Eastern States under its flagship programme North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS). The states have been asked to submit their proposals by 6th April. Health sector projects would be sanctioned on top priority.
    1. Indian Railways geares up its entire machinery to take comprehensive measures on prevention of COVID-19 infection

    • Railways has geared up its entire machinery to take comprehensive measures on prevention of COVID-19 infection. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Chairman Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav are regularly reviewing to bolster preparedness.
    • The Ministry said, uninterrupted 24X7 Freight Trains Operations are ensuring availability of essential commodities through the country. More than four lakh wagons carried supplies to keep the supply chain functional between 24th of last month to 2nd of April. Among these, more than two lakh wagons carried essential commodities like food grains, salt, sugar, milk, edible oil, onions, fruits and vegetables, petroleum products, coal and fertilizers throughout the country.
    • The Ministry said, Railway staff are working at various goods sheds, stations and control offices on 24X7 basis to ensure that the supply of essential items for the nation does not get affected. Locomotive Pilots and guards are efficiently running the trains.
    • Around five thousand isolation beds in Railway hospitals and 11 thousand quarantine beds across Railway establishments have been earmarked for COVID-19 patients.
    1. CPSEs to contribute Rs 905 Cr to PM CARES Fund

    • The Central Public Sector Enterprises, CPSEs under Minstry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy have decided to contribute Rs 925 Crore to Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, PM CARES Fund.
    • Informing about the major initiative, Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy R K Singh said, the amount includes contributions of Rs 905 Crore from PSUs under Ministry of Power and contribution of Rs 20 Crore from PSUs under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. He complemented all those who are contributing wholeheartedly to the PM Cares Fund and the fight against COVID-19.
    1. Govt guidelines for safety measures of tourist, hotel industry must be followed in letter and spirit

    • Tourism Ministry is actively involved in ensuring that advisories and guidelines issued by the Central Government regarding various safety measures for tourists, hotel staff and hotel industry must be followed in letter and spirit.
    • The advisories and guidelines were also disseminated to various India tourism offices for coordination and active surveillance in their respective regions.
    • Lists of tourists from various countries have been circulated to the regional offices and they were asked to track and monitor their movement.
    • Tourism Ministry has been actively collaborating with the State Tourism Departments and the State Administration. In the meantime, the Stranded in India portal is working successfully to assist tourists to travel back safe to their countries.

     

    1. HRD Ministry writes to UGC, AICTE, NIOS, NCERT and KVS on how to stay safe during lockdown

     

     

     

    • In wake of COVID-19 threat, Human Resources Development Ministry has written to UGC, AICTE, NIOS, NCERT and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan on how to stay safe during this lockdown period.
    • In the letter, HRD Secretary Amit Khare said that AarogyaSetu app has been developed by the Government to fight against COVID-19. The app will enable people to assess their risk of Coronavirus infection. He said, the app will help students, teachers and their family members.
    • Mr Khare also urged students to respond enthusiastically to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to light a candle, diya or torch on their mobile for 9 minutes at 9:00 p.m. on this Sunday to highlight the objective for which people all are fighting together.
    • He added that no one should assemble in colonies, on roads or anywhere outside their houses on Sunday
    1. PM Modi says India is united in defeating COVID-19

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that India is united in defeating COVID-19 and people from all walks of life are adding strength to the fight against Corona virus.
    • In a tweet today, he thanked the Indian Space Resarch Organization, Central Secretariat Service Forum, Border Security Force, AU Small Finance Bank and Lulu Group International for making contribution in the PM CARES.

     

    1. COVID-19: TRIFED requests States/UTs to ensure precautionary measures to be taken to protect tribals

    • TRIFED has requested the States and Union Territories to ensure the precautionary measures to be taken to protect tribals amid the COVID-19 situation.
    • TRIFED Managing Director Pravir Krishna has said that COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge and all the States and Union Territories are affected by it. He said, it is necessary that precautionary measures to be taken to protect all, especially tribal-gatherers.
    1. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu condemns recent attacks on medical professionals

    • Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today strongly condemned the recent attacks on medical professionals. In a series of tweets, he said, it is the duty of every citizen to protect medical professionals who have been risking their lives to treat the infected.
    • Naidu said, people should be sensitized on the crucial, life-saving role being undertaken by doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and other frontline warriors in the battle against COVID-19.
    • Naidu said, he called upon all Governors and Lieutenant Governors to contact spiritual and religious leaders in their states and motivate them to advice their followers to not hold any congregations and observe social distancing norms to combat Corona virus.
    1. President Kovind along with VP interact with Governors and LGs; PM interacts with sportspersons in connection with COVID-19 pandemic

     

    • President Ram Nath Kovind along with Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today interacted with the Governors, Lieutenant Governor and Administrators of all States and Union Territories through video conferencing to discuss measures to combat COVID-19.
    • Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today gave the five-point mantra of Sankalp, Sanyam, Sakaratmakta, Samman and Sahyog to tackle COVID-19. Interacting with over 40 top sportspersons from across disciplines including Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Women’s Hockey team captain Rani Rampal and  ace badminton player P V Sindhu among others, Mr Modi said, the sportspersons have brought glory to the nation. He said, now they have an important role to play in boosting morale of the nation and spreading positivity.
    • Prime Minister said that COVID-19 is an adversary of the entire humanity and the gravity of the situation can be ascertained from the fact that for the first time since World War-II, the Olympics has been postponed. Mr Modi said, several other prominent international sporting events like Wimbledon and domestic sporting events like Indian Premier League for cricket have been deferred as well due to the challenges created by the pandemic.
    • Mr Modi asked sportspersons to highlight the importance of both physical and mental fitness and also popularize guidelines released by AYUSH Ministry.
    • Prime Minister mentioned that it is imperative India emerges victorious in this battle against the pandemic and expressed confidence in pro-active participation by the sportspersons in this battle.
    • Among others, Kabaddi player and DSP in Himanchal Pradesh Police Ajay Thakur, sprinter Hima Das, para-athlete high jumper Sharad Kumar, top tennis player Ankita Raina, cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Men’s cricket team captain Virat Kohli participated in the video conference. Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports and other senior officials of the Ministry also participated in the interaction.

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. UNGA adopts resolution calling for global solidarity in fight against COVID-19

     

    • The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution on COVID-19, calling for intensified international cooperation to defeat the pandemic.
    • Co-sponsored by 188 nations including India, the resolution titled Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is first such document on the global pandemic to be adopted by the world organization.
    • The resolution said the General Assembly notes with great concern the threat to human health, safety and well-being caused by the disease. It highlighted the unprecedented effects of the pandemic, including the severe disruption to societies, economies, global travel and commerce, and the devastating impact on the livelihood of people.
    • The resolution called for intensified international cooperation in exchanging information, scientific knowledge and best practices and applying guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization.
    • The UN Security Council is yet to discuss the Corona virus outbreak, even as the total number of coronavirus cases across the world crossed one million.
    1. The total number of confirmed Coronavirus deaths across world accelerated past 50,000

    • The number of confirmed Coronavirus deaths accelerated past 50,000 today as the United States, Spain and Britain grappled with their highest tolls yet.
    • The United States accounts for around a quarter of confirmed cases. Spain reported more than 900 deaths in 24 hours today, for the second day running.

    SPORTS NEWS

     

    1. Tony Lewis, famous for Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, dies at 78

     

    • Tony Lewis, one of the men behind the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method used in weather-affected limited overs cricket matches, has died aged 78, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced yesterday.
    • Tony, alongside fellow mathematician Frank Duckworth, devised the Duckworth-Lewis method which was introduced in 1997 and adopted officially by the ICC (International Cricket Council) in 1999.
    • Renamed the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method in 2014, the mathematical formula continues to be used in rain reduced limited overs cricket games across the globe.
    • The method then in use was based on removing the lowest-scoring overs from each team’s innings.
    • The formula has been criticised for not being suited to Twenty20 matches, cricket’s shortest format, which came into being after Duckworth-Lewis was established.
    • No alternative method, however, has yet found favour with the ICC.

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