IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS(THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.– Jimmy Dean

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

 NLU report

      HEADLINES:

IIT-D team develops cheaper COVID-19 test

      WHY IN NEWS:

‘Probe-free detection assay’ sent to NIV, Pune

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this is not a proven research yet. Wait and watch ! For now understand and dig the method and approach of this quick invention .

      ISSUE: 

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology here have developed a method to detect COVID-19 that can significantly reduce the test cost, making it affordable for large sections.

ABOUT THE NEW RESEARCH:

The National Institute of Virology, Pune, is in the process of validating this test on clinical samples.

The “probe-free detection assay” has been optimised and tested for sensitivity at the research laboratories of IIT.

The Centre on Saturday recommended that the maximum charge for a COVID-19 test by private laboratories should not exceed ₹4,500.

However, the team at IIT claimed their test could be performed at a much cheaper cost.

“Using comparative sequence analysis, we have identified unique regions in COVID-19.

These unique regions are not present in other human coronaviruses, providing an opportunity to specifically detect COVID-19,

‘ACCURATE RESULTS’

The current testing methods available are “probe-based”, while the one developed by them is “probe-free”, which reduces the testing cost without compromising on accuracy.

Primer sets targeting unique regions in the spike protein of COVID-19 were designed and tested using real time polymerase chain reaction.

The primers designed by the group specifically bind to regions conserved in over 200 fully sequenced COVID-19 genomes.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The sensitivity of this in-house assay is comparable to that of commercially available kits.

“This assay can be used as a qualitative (yes or no) assay without the need for extensive instrumentation. In addition, it can also quantitatively assess virus loads,”.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Isolation is India’s best weapon: ICMR

      HEADLINES:

Isolation is India’s best weapon: ICMR

      WHY IN NEWS:

Lockdown is the most important step in breaking virus transmission, says its Director-General

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS methods of prevention of an epidemic can be understood from this small article.Nothing much important !

      ISSUE: 

Isolation, and not indiscriminate testing, is the only way India can limit the spread of COVID-19 -Balram Bhargava, Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

Lockdown advantage: With people staying home during the ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday, Fire and Emergency Service personnel sprayed disinfectants in Ahmedabad.

A lockdown is the most important step in breaking transmission of the infection.

Testing had been scaled up with 111 labs offering COVID-19 tests.

Also, four of 60 online applications received from the private sector to test for the virus had been approved.

“There has been no delay in allowing private labs to test.

The idea was to put in place enough safety nets to prevent any accidents to medical personnel handling this highly infectious virus,’’ .

“India in the past one week has tested 5,000 samples and has the capacity to scale up to 50,000-70,000 tests a week.

Compared to this, France tested 10,000 a week, the U.K. 16,000 a week and the U.S. 26,000 a week.

The virus test can be positive between two and 14 days and 80% people experience only mild symptoms and 55% need hospitalisation.

VENTILATORS ORDERED

India had placed orders for 1,200 ventilators.

“India enough stock of personal protection equipment and have asked the States to use all their resources to ensure that the poor and disadvantaged groups don’t suffer.

Our approach is preventive while being prepared.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

We are dealing with a highly infectious and unknown virus, so isolation is our biggest weapon.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Golden Triangle

      HEADLINES:

Seizure of Afghan meth on high seas triggers concern

      WHY IN NEWS:

It indicates a trend of contraband being smuggled out through a well-established heroin trafficking route, says official

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Drug-enforcement

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to understand the the drug and its harmful impact.

For MAINS concentrate on economies sustained on drug menace. Why only Golden triangle is famous for such act ? Any geographical reason to it ?

      ISSUE: 

Tipped off by its national drug-enforcement counterparts, the Sri Lankan Navy set out for the high seas in the last week of February and intercepted two trawlers on international waters, more than 1,000 km off the country’s coast.

While the operation resulted in the country’s biggest drug haul at sea, with the seizure of 400 kg of heroin, what was far more worrying for the region’s drug fighters was that the seized contraband included 100 kg of crystal methamphetamine.

Huge haul: Sri Lankan police personnel examining drugs seized by the Navy on March 5.

THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE

Noting that the history of the Golden Triangle (the opium-producing area where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet) demonstrated that meth production could have significant impacts on the opium economy, rapidly transforming a plant-based narcotics challenge into a challenge of tracking large synthetic laboratories

The Golden Triangle is the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong rivers. 

Image result for Golden Triangle

It is the indication of an emerging trend of meth produced in Afghanistan being smuggled out through an already well-established route for heroin trafficking to different parts of the world.

METHAMPHETAMINE

Also known as meth, crystal, glass, ice, speed and shards, methamphetamine is a psychostimulant “party” drug.

It is much cheaper and highly addictive compared with cocaine. Its effect may last for over 12 hours. In contrast, heroin is a depressant.

In Afghanistan, meth is known as shisha (glass).

Image result for methamphetamine

  • Methamphetamine is usually a white, bitter-tasting powder or a pill. Crystal methamphetamine looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks.
  • Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that is chemically similar to amphetamine (a drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy).
  • People can take methamphetamine by smoking, swallowing, snorting, or injecting the drug.
  • Methamphetamine increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, which is involved in movement, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors.
  • Short-term health effects include increased wakefulness and physical activity, decreased appetite, and increased blood pressure and body temperature.
  • Long-term health effects include risk of addiction; risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis; severe dental problems (“meth mouth”); intense itching, leading to skin sores from scratching; violent behavior; and paranoia.
  • Methamphetamine can be highly addictive. When people stop taking it, withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, fatigue, severe depression, psychosis, and intense drug cravings.
  • The most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction so far are behavioral therapies.
  • There are currently no government-approved medications to treat methamphetamine addiction.
  • A person can overdose on methamphetamine. Because methamphetamine overdose often leads to a stroke, heart attack, or organ problems.

BULK PRODUCTION

A startling revelation was that the meth in the country was being produced in bulk using ephedrine extracted from a shrub locally known as Oman (Ephedra) growing in the wild in the Afghan mountains, including in Helmand, Ghazni and Wardak.(MAP THEM)

The shift from use of chemical to plant-based ephedrine for making meth was very recent.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The UNODC report (January 29, 2019) stated that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan peaked in 2017, after which it declined,”

But the incident examines that they have moved to meth.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

‘COVID-19 is a new animal in the zoo’

      HEADLINES:

‘COVID-19 is a new animal in the zoo’

      WHY IN NEWS:

States have been told to marshal all resources to contain the virus, says NITI Aayog member

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

Just an update ! Nothing important for Prelims or Mains. Important now for existence !

      ISSUE: 

The spread of the disease called for a revised testing strategy and marshalling of all resources to contain the pandemic.

COVID REALITY CHECK

If it spreads, serious patients will come in and we cannot miss this indication. COVID-19 is a new animal in the zoo, we are still understanding the virus.

We know that it is a pandemic, it is somewhat explosive and somewhat delayed. We may be better-off currently but be prepared for the worst.

We should be sensible for the next two months.

NITI Aayog had advised the government to rectify the lack of health infrastructure, skewed patient-bed and medical staff ratio.

Since we cannot create a perfect situation, social distancing is key and this drill is essential.

We are looking at two types of technologies/productsone is diagnostic kits and the other, of course, vaccine which is a long term solution.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Remember if a vaccine comes out somewhere else, they may find it very sensible to manufacture here in India. So that’s the silver lining, we have a huge vaccine production capability.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

 Let us ‘Discuss’

 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Let us know what you think about this in the comment section.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

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