Coronavirus is the most deadly viral spread in the world right now. Many top nations have lost thousands of lives. Also the day by day the number of affected persons is increasing in a very high rate. So we are still in danger. Till now, the corona virus has attacked over 5 lakh people all over the world. Very soon the affected persons toll may reach 6 lakhs.
- On December 31, 2019, China informed the World Health Organization of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of an unknown cause in Wuhan City in Hubei province. On January 9, 2020, the WHO issued a statement saying Chinese researchers have made “preliminary determination” of the virus as a novel coronavirus.
- Since then, more than 6,000 deaths have been reported due to COVID-19 across the world till March 20, 2020. Cases have been reported from more than 180 countries, including India. Lockdowns, curfews, massive airport screenings, quarantines, and social distancing have become the norm across the globe.
What are coronaviruses?
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with some causing less severe common cold to more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The SARS-CoV-21 is a coronavirus very similar to the one that caused SARS.
Protecting yourself against COVID-19
- Washing with soap
- Alcohol-based hand sanitisers
- Using a mask
- Social distancing
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Practise respiratory hygiene
Recent announcements related to COVID-19 for one day exams point of view
Karnataka launches ‘Namaste over Handshake’ campaign for COVID-19
- The state government of Karnataka has launched ‘Namaste over Handshake’ campaign with an aim to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Indian-American Seema Verma named as key member of coronavirus task force in US
- Leading Indian-American health policy consultant Seema Verma has been appointed as one of the key members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force constituted by US President Donald Trump to combat the deadly disease that has claimed six lives in the country and infected over 90 others.
- The task force led by Secretary, Health and Human Services Alex Azar, was created by President Trump on January 30 to lead his administration’s response to the deadly virus that emerged in China and has wreaked havoc across the globe.
Punjab government launches corona virus application
- To sensitize people about corona virus, Punjab government has launched ‘COVA Punjab’ mobile application.
- The application provides options to citizens to check symptoms as provided by the government from time to time and follow the advisory given thereafter.
- The app also suggests the nearest hospital and nodal officer of district where the citizen can reach in-case he is corona symptomatic.
Iran seeks Financial Help from IMF first time since 1962 to fight against CoronaVirus
- For the first time since 1962, Iran is seeking the help of the International Monetary Fund
- The IMF allocated emergency funds to middle income countries, allocated 50 billion USD to fund middle-income countries.
- Also, it allocated 10 billion USD to low income countries
DBS Bank, Bharti AXA join hands for insurance plan covering coronavirus
- DBS Bank India stated it has tied-up with Bharti AXA to roll out a complimentary insurance plan covering all medical conditions, including COVID-19
- The plan would cover all medical conditions, including COVID-19, and up to 10 days of hospitalisation, with a cover of Rs 5,000 per day, for a 30-day period
Budget Allocation to fight Corona: Odisha, Tamil Nadu allocated funds
- Odisha became the first state in the country to allocate funds to fight against CoronaVirus.
- The Odisha State government has allocated Rs 200 crores to fight against the deadly disease.
- The Tamil Nadu Government allocated Rs 60 crores
ECB launches €750 billion ‘pandemic emergency’ bond-buying scheme
- The European Central Bank announced a surprise 750-billion-euro scheme to purchase government and corporate bonds, as it joined other central banks in stepping up efforts to contain the economic damage from the coronavirus.
ADB announces $6.5 bn package for developing member countries
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced a $6.5 billion package for its developing member countries to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Goa govt launches chatbot to create awareness about coronavirus
- Goa Health Minister Vishwajit P Rane has launched a chatbot Cobot-19 to create awareness about coronavirus among the citizens.
Govt creates WhatsApp Chatbot for queries on Novel Coronavirus
- The government has created WhatsApp Chatbot for queries on Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
- The WhatsApp Chatbot is called MyGov Corona Helpdesk
- It stated people can just save the number 9013151515 on WhatsApp and get an automated response on queries related to Corona
WhatsApp launches “WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub”
- “WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub” has been launched globally by WhatsApp
- The Information Hub has been launched by WhatsApp in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
ICICI Lombard launches a dedicated insurance cover for coronavirus
- ICICI Lombard has launched a focused policy for coronavirus (COVID-19), which will pay the entire sum insured irrespective of hospitalisation expenses.
- The health cover comes with a premium of Rs.149 and provides a sum insured of Rs.25,00
SBI launches COVID 19 Emergency Credit Line facility for existing borrowers
- State Bank of India has launched an emergency loan facility for its existing loan customers whose business has been hit due to Coronavirus 2019 (COVID 19).
- The loan facility has been named COVID 19 Emergency Credit Line (CECL)
- The interest rate under this facility will be 7.25% per annum
- It has been launched to meet the temporary liquidity mismatch arising out of covid-19.
Star health unveils ‘Star novel coronavirus policy’ for corona victims
- Star Health and Allied Insurance Co Ltd has launched ‘Star Novel Coronavirus Insurance Policy’ that provides coverage for hospitalized patients who test positive for the current pandemic COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).
- The company has set a premium of Rs 459 plus GST for a sum insured of Rs. 21,000 and a premium of Rs 918 plus GST for a sum insured of Rs 42,000
- Anyone aged 18-65 years can avail this policy.
World Bank, ADB give USD 588 million to Pakistan to fight coronavirus pandemic
- The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have committed to providing USD 588 million to Pakistan for its emergency response to fight the coronavirus and to address the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic
- According to an official statement, the World Bank would provide USD 238 million and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) USD 350 million to Pakistan in support for the COVID-19 emergency response and to tackle the socio-economic disruption associated with it.
UP government announces ₹1,000 financial aid to 35 lakh labourers
- The Uttar Pradesh government announced that around 35 lakh labourers in the state will get ₹1,000 each as financial aid while free ration for one month will be provided to 65 crore construction workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- This payment will be sent directly to their accounts through direct bank transfers,” said the statement issued.
Axis Bank sets aside ₹100 crore for coronavirus-related support
- Axis Bank has set aside ₹100 crore to support customers, employees, vendors, government agencies and the community at large towards curbing the spread of COVID-19.
- Axis Bank has also has decided to waive off charges for Savings Account, Current Account and Prepaid Card customers towards Online IMPS and ATM financial and non-financial transactions, for the period 23rd Mar – 31st Mar’20
Corporates can spend CSR funds to combat COVID-19: FM
- Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s office announced on March 23, 2020 that the spending of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) funds to tackle coronavirus outbreak will be eligible for CSR activity.
- The announcement means that the funds spent by the corporates to fight coronavirus will be considered as corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.
BRICS New Development Bank approves nearly USD 1 bn loan to China
- China is set to receive a loan worth RMB 7 billion (USD 989 million) from the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) in order to combat the epidemiological threat and economic disruption caused by the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
- The loan is the largest ever awarded in the NDB’s history and is also the first emergency assistance given to one of BRICS member
CBSE launches helpline number for students to create awareness on coronavirus
- The Central Board of Secondary Education launched a helpline number for students to create awareness on the coronavirus pandemic.
- The facility is available on 1800118004 from 8 am to 8 pm, initially up to March 31.
Nepal Commits NPR 100 million to SAARC emergency fund to fight COVID-19 outbreak
- Nepal has committed NPR 100 million to the SAARC emergency fund proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help combat the coronavirus pandemic in the region.
Indian Council of Medical Research ’s task force recommends use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment
- The National Task Force constituted by the Indian Council of Medical Research to tackle COVID-19 pandemic has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat high-risk coronavirus cases
Bangladesh contributes Dollar 1.5 million to COVID 19 Emergency fund of SAARC
- Bangladesh announced that it will contribute Dollar 1.5 million to the proposed Corona emergency fund for the prevention and combat of COVID-19 pandemic in the SAARC region.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on 8th March that India will contribute $10 million to the fund
- Other countries of SAARC like Nepal and Afghanistan have pledged 1 million dollar each while Maldives will contribute 2 lakh dollars and Bhutan 1 lakh dollar to the emergency fund
Finance Minister on COVID-19: Tax Filings extended, ATM, bank charges waived off
- The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced several key measures in the view of CoronaVirus Pandemic
- The minister also announced that the Economic Task Force is to announce an Economic Relief Package to contain the spread of the disease.
- No charges on withdrawal of cash in bank ATMs. Also, the digital charges on trade transactions have been reduced.
- The PAN card and Aadhaar card linking were extended to June 30
- The GST returns, Sabka Vishwas scheme filing dates have also been extended to March 31
TN govt announced Rs.3,280 crore special relief package against Coronavirus
- Tamil Nadu state government has announced an Rs.3,280 crore special relief package against COVID-19
Netflix establishes $100 mn fund for film and TV workers
- Netflix Inc has established a $100 million (86.3 million pounds) fund to assist workers on film and television productions that have been shut down due to the global coronavirus outbreak.
Indian Footballer Sunil Chhetri Chosen for FIFA Campaign Against COVID-19
- Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri is among 28 past and present global football stars, who all have been chosen for football world governing body FIFA’s campaign to combat the COVID-19 pandemic
- The campaign titled ‘Pass the message to kick out coronavirus’ has been launched jointly by the FIFA and the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat the coronavirus.
SBI Commits 0.25% of FY21 annual profit to help fight COVID-19
- India’s biggest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has announced to provide 0.25 percent of its annual profit for 2020-21 to fight the coronavirus outbreak in India.
2020 Tokyo Olympics postponed till 2021 due to coronavirus
- The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Now it will be held in the year 2021. The exact dates will be decided later.
- The Tokyo Olympic Games was to be held from July 24 to August 9, while the Paralympic Games was scheduled to be held from August 25 to September 6
Coronavirus pandemic – US advocacy group files $20 trillion lawsuit against Chinese govt
- Freedom Watch, a Washington-based advocacy group, and Buzz Photos, a Texas company that specialises in high school sports photography, have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Chinese government demanding $20 trillion in compensation for the damages caused by the novel coronavirus.
Ordnance Factory Board designates 285 beds to handle COVID-19 cases
- Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has designated 285 beds for isolation wards in handling Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
India pledged $10 million toward a Covid-19 emergency fund
- The Government of India pledged $10 million toward a Covid-19 emergency fund
- India also planned to put together a rapid response team of doctors and specialists for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) nations
- India suggested Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal (IDSP) that is currently being used to detect infected patients and contact tracing.
Microsoft launches website to track COVID-19
- Microsoft has launched a web portal to track the spread of COVID-19 worldwide
- The web portal has been launched by Microsoft’s Bing team
- The portal aims to track the spread of novel coronavirus in the world.
First COVID-19 vaccine trial begins in the United States
- The United States of America began the first human trial evaluating COVID-19 vaccine
- The US National Institute of Health will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers between age 18 and 55 for a period of 6 weeks in order to test the vaccine.
- The vaccine was developed by a private firm called Moderna
- The vaccine is called mRNA-1273
Centre urges people to share solutions for COVID-19 on MyGovIndia
- The Government of India has urged the people to share technology-driven solutions for COVID-19 on MyGovIndia (@mygovindia)
- The information was announced by PM Narendra Modi
World Bank increases COVID-19 response funding to 14 bln USD
- The World Bank has announced 14 billion US Dollars to assist companies and countries in their efforts to respond to the rapid spread of COVID-19
- It has added 2 billion dollars to the initial package
RBI to use swap transactions, LTRO to infuse liquidity
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that, in the wake of the epidemic Covid-19, the central bank would use Forex swap and long-term repo operations (LTROs) to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 on the Indian Economy.
- RBI will conduct a six-month sell/buy swap auction worth $2 billion to provide dollar liquidity.
- RBI also stated that it would not hesitate to persist with LTROs to infuse long-term rupee liquidity, amounting to Rs.1 lakh crore
Priyanka Chopra collaborates with WHO to spread awareness over COVID-19
India gets $1-million materials requests from SAARC nations
- The Ministry of External Affairs stated that requests for material assistance received by India from the SAARC nations in the forms of masks, gloves and disinfectants have crossed $1 million, in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19.
Government Forms COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force Led By FM Nirmala Sitharaman
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to constitute COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force
- The task force will be led by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, to deal with the situation arising out of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
- It will ensure that all steps are taken to reduce the economic difficulties and execute them effectively.
Maldives pledges USD 200,000 to COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
- The Maldives government has committed two lakh US dollars for COVID -19 emergency relief fund created for SAARC nations
- Foreign minister Abdulla Shahid stated in a message that Maldives welcome PM Narendra Modi’s initiative to create the fund and pledge the amount to address issues emanating from COVID-19.
Govt Forms 21-member high level committee of medical experts under V K Paul for prevention & control of COVID-19
- The Government of India has constituted a high level technical committee of Public Health Experts to provide guidance about the prevention and control activities for COVID-19 in the country.
- The 21 member committee will be headed by NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul