Union Health Ministry has created an online data pool on www.covidwarriors.gov
Union Health Ministry has created an online data pool on www.covidwarriors.gov.in of health care professionals, volunteers from National Yuva Kendras, NCC, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and ex-Servicemen for use by the ground level administration at state, district or municipal levels
- It contains state wise and district wise availability of the large pool of human resources from various groups along with contact details of the nodal officers.
- The dashboard is available for use by various authorities to prepare Crisis Management and Contingency Plans based on the available manpower, in coordination with nodal officers for each group.
- This will also help States and Union Territories to move human resources from one location to the other for their utilisation.
Source : PIB (Health)
On April 19, 2020, Goa became the first zero COVID-19 State in the country with the last seven positive cases also turning negative
- This makes Goa the first green State in the country with no case of coronavirus being reported since April 3.
- The State had a total of seven cases, of whom six had travel history and one was the brother of a positive patient.
Source : The Hindu (Health)
The drug Remdesivir has been under the spotlight as a possible treatment for critical cases of COVID-19
The drug remdesivir has been under the spotlight as a possible treatment for critical cases of COVID-19. While the drug is yet to get approval in any country to treat COVID-19, recent studies have claimed they have found promising results
- Remdesivir is a drug with antiviral properties that was manufactured by US-based biotechnology company in 2014, to treat Ebola cases.
- It was also tried in patients of MERS and SARS, both caused by members of the coronavirus family, but experts said it did now show promising results back then.
- Coronaviruses have a single-strand RNA as their genetic material. When the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 enters a human cell, an enzyme called RdRP helps the virus replicate. Remdesivir works by inhibiting the activity of RdRP.
- What is India’s stand on remdesivir? Remdesivir is currently not available in India. The ICMR plans to wait and watch for the results of WHO’s Solidarity trials to make an assessment on the efficacy of remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment.
Source : Indian Express (Health)
Unlike in the past, when the RBI used its repo rate as the main instrument to tweak the interest rates, presently, it is the reverse repo rate that is effectively setting the benchmark
- The repo rate is the rate at which the RBI lends money to the banking system (or banks) for short durations. The reverse repo rate is the rate at which banks can park their money with the RBI.
- Under normal circumstances, that is when the economy is growing, the repo rate is the benchmark interest rate in the economy because it is the lowest rate of interest at which funds can be borrowed and, as such, it forms the floor rate for all other interest rates in the economy.
- However, over the last couple of years, India’s economic growth has decelerated sharply. Also, banks are not lending to businesses, partly because banks are too risk-averse to lend and partly because the overall demand from the businesses has also come down.
- Recognising this, the central bank has cut the reverse repo rate more than the repo twice in the spate of the last three weeks.
- The idea is to make it less attractive for banks to do nothing with their funds because their doing so hurts the economy and starves the businesses that genuinely need funds.
Source : Indian Express (Economy)
Researchers from the IIA, Bangalore, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology have conducted the first systematic study on the gamma-ray flux variability nature on different types of blazars
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology have conducted the first systematic study on the gamma-ray flux variability nature on different types of blazars
- At the center of most galaxies, there’s a massive black hole that can have mass of millions or even billions of Suns that accrete gas, dust, and stellar debris around it.
- As these material falls towards the black hole, their gravitational energy gets converted to light forming active galactic nuclei (AGN). A minority of AGN (~15%) emit collimated charged particles called jets travelling at speeds close to the speed of light.
- Blazars are AGN whose jets are aligned with the observer’s line of sight. Some blazars are thought to host binary black holes in them and could be potential targets for future gravitational-wave searches.
Source : PIB (Science & Technology)
As the coronavirus spreads around the world, comparisons between today’s situation and the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 are proliferating
- he Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic, was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic.
- Lasting from January 1918 to December 1920, it infected 500 million people – about a third of the world’s population at the time. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million.
- The Spanish flu was the first of two pandemics caused by the H1N1 influenza virus; the second was the swine flu in 2009.
- Despite its popular name, historical and epidemiological data cannot identify the geographic origin of the Spanish flu. The origin of the “Spanish flu” name stems from the pandemic’s spread to Spain from France in November 1918.
Source : Indian Express (Health)
The first World Chagas Disease Day was celebrated on April 14
- World Chagas Disease Day is celebrated on April 14 to raise awareness around chagas disease.
- It was first celebrated on April 14, 2020 and was named after Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, the Brazilian doctor who diagnosed the first case on 14 April 1909.
- World Chagas Disease Day was approved for creation on May 24, 2019 at the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly.
Important Info :
- Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis, has also been termed as a “silent and silenced disease”, not only because of its slowly progressing clinical course but also because it affects mainly poor people who have no political voice or access to health care.
- It is a tropical parasitic disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. It is spread mostly by insects known as Triatominae, or “kissing bugs”.
- The disease can be mild, causing swelling and fever, or it can be long lasting. Left untreated, it can cause congestive heart failure.
- Treatment for Chagas disease focuses on taking medication that kills the parasite and on managing symptoms.
Source : WHO (Health)
Researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science &Technology have developed ‘bug sniffer
- It is a biosensor that uses synthetic peptides, magnetic nanoparticles, and quantum dots to detect the presence of bacteria, providing a cost- and time-effective way of screening water and foodborne pathogens.
- The portable device can detect as low as ten bacterial cells from a sample size of one milliliter in just 30 minutes.
Source : Indian Express (Science & Technology)