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Current Affairs in English Medium - 19.05.2020 || UPSC, TNPSC, SSC, RRB & IBPS

India supplied COVID-19 related essential medicines to 123 countries: Dr Harsh Vardhan
Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan participated on 18.05.2020 in the 73rd World Health Assembly through video conference and highlighted the timely, graded and proactive measures taken by India towards COVID management. He said India undertook the COVID-19 challenge with the highest level of political commitment. Dr Harsh Vardhan urged upon all Governments, industry and philanthropy to prioritize the long term and pool their resources, to ensure everyone benefits. He said India is playing a key role in fostering bilateral and regional partnerships. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, India has supplied essential medicines to 123 nations as an expression of solidarity.

COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 38.73 pct
Health and Family Welfare Ministry said that a total 39,174 patients have cured from the Corona virus and the recovery rate reached to 38.73 per cent in the country. During the last twenty four hours, two thousand 350 patients have recovered and four thousand 970 fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported taking the total number of cases to one lakh one thousand 139. A total 134 deaths have been registered in last 24 hours taking the nationwide toll to three thousand 163.

India fares better than other countries in containment of COVID-19
Health Ministry said, Corona management efforts are being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level. Aggressive and early measures so far have shown encouraging results. The recovery rate has improved to 38.29 percent. India has about 7.1 cases per lakh population vis a vis approximately 60 cases per lakh population for the world as a whole. In Spain, it is 494 cases per lakh population, in US 431 cases, in Italy 372 cases, in Germany 210 cases, in UK 361 cases and in France 209 cases per lakh population.

India backs EU resolution at WHO for impartial, independent and comprehensive probe in Corona crisis
India has backed a European Union resolution seeking a probe into the response of World Health Organization during the Corona virus crisis around the world. It calls for an impartial, independent and comprehensive probe at the earliest to review the experience gained and lessons learnt from the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19. The resolution has been presented to the World Health Assembly which is holding its virtual session by teleconferencing in Geneva. Total 120 nations including Australia, EU, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and UK have sponsored the resolution.

WHO to initiate independent review of its handling of coronavirus pandemic
World Health Organization (WHO) has said it will initiate an independent review into its handling of the coronavirus pandemic at the earliest appropriate moment. Speaking at the World Health Assembly, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said WHO is committed to transparency and will therefore facilitate an independent review of its response to the coronavirus outbreak. More than 100 countries including India backed a resolution drafted by the European Union calling for an independent inquiry into the pandemic, which has claimed more than 3 lakh lives globally so far.

Donald Trump threatens permanent freeze of WHO funding in 30 days
US President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to permanently halt funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) if it did not commit to improvements within 30 days, and to reconsider the membership of the United States in the body. Trump suspended US contributions to the WHO last month, accusing it of promoting China’s “disinformation” about the coronavirus outbreak, although WHO officials denied the accusation and China said it was transparent and open.

Unemployment rate remains at 24%, but hard times ahead for labour
The unemployment rate remained stable at 24 per cent during the week ended May 17. This is the same as it was in the preceding month. Halfway into the month of May, it appears that the unemployment rate is around the same level as it was in April. It remains mostly higher by a whisker.

e-NAM reaches milestone of 1000 Mandis across 18 States, 3 UTs
e-NAM reaches milestone of 1000 Mandis across 18 States, 3 UTs. The pan-India electronic agriculture trading portal, e-NAM has reached milestone of one thousand mandis across 18 states and three union territories. Agriculture Ministry said, 38 additional Mandis were integrated with the e-NAM platform.

Indian Navy commissions 7th ship of MK IV class Landing Craft Utility ‘IN LCU L57’ at Port Blair
Lieutenant General PS Rajeshwar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Commander-in-Chief A&N Command, commissioned INLCU L57 into the Indian Navy on 15 May 2020 at Port Blair. INLCU L57 is the seventh Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK-IV class to be inducted into the Indian Navy. The ship has been indigenously designed and built by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The commissioning of INLCU L57 is yet another manifestation of the country’s indigenous design and ship building capability.

A novel tool to help gain deeper insight into Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disease thathas no cure. It is believed that an aggregation of a protein called alpha synuclein (ASyn) plays a crucial role in the pathology of the disease. The aggregation is found in abundance in what is called the substantia nigra portion in the midbrain of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Many researchers from acrossthe world are studying the mechanism of how the proteinforms the aggregates, and how the aggregation results in the death of neuronal cells observed in Parkinson’s disease. They believe that once these mysteries are uncovered, it could help develop a drug for the disease, which is badly needed and has been long overdue.

Union HRD Minister e-Launches seven titles on "Psycho-Social Impact of Pandemic & Lockdown and How to Cope With"
Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’today e-Launchedprint as well as e-editions of the set ofseven titles on "Psycho-Social impact of pandemic & lockdown and how to Cope With" under the corona studies series published by NBT India. Speaking on the occasion Union Minister said that "To counter these formidable circumstances that the world is facing these days, NBT has brought out these remarkable and unparalleled set of books, and I hope that these books serve as guides to mental well-being of people at large", The launching ceremony was followed by an e-interactive session with the researchers/authors of NBT Study Group.

A Book titled “Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City” authored by Fang Fang
The book called “Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City” authored by Chinese literary writer Fang Fang. This book is a compilation of online diary entries and social media posts that document 60 days of lockdown during COVID-19. The book was published by HarperNonFiction. On January 25, 2020, after the central government imposed a lockdown in Wuhan, acclaimed Chinese writer Fang Fang began publishing an online diary. In the days and weeks that followed, Fang Fang’s nightly postings gave voice to the fears, frustrations, anger, and hope of millions of her fellow citizens, reflecting on the psychological impact of forced isolation, the role of the internet as both community lifeline and source of misinformation, and most tragically, the lives of neighbors and friends taken by the deadly virus. 

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