Daily UPSC Current Affairs | 9th May 2020

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Daily Current Affairs for UPSC is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS2020.

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.– Zig Ziglar

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.

Difference between vaccines, antibodies

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19: Here’s the difference between vaccines, antibodies

      WHY IN NEWS:

Vaccines are chemicals that help the body develop antibodies while antibodies are developed by the body’s immune system to fight pathogens

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 :Diseases : Science

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS we have mentioned briefly the difference between vaccines and antibodies here . Go through them

For MAINS if you still cant define what is a Plasma cell . Note down the definition .

      ISSUE: 

Italy and Israel both claim to have had breakthroughs in developing methods to neutralise the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), that is responsible for the disease (COVID-19) pandemic, suggest several media reports.

Italian researchers claim they have found a vaccine to treat the SARS-CoV-2 infection Photo: Wikimedia Commons

VACCINE :

  • Vaccines are chemicals that when injected into the body, help it develop antibodies.
  • The vaccine may lead to a similar production of antibodies in human beings and would help shield the person from the infection.
  • A component from the pathogen is introduced into the body through a vaccine.
  • While this component does not lead to the disease, it trains the body’s immune system to prepare a response for when the actual pathogen attacks.

ANTIBODIES:

  • Antibodies, on the other hand, are developed by the body’s immune system to fight pathogens.
  • Antibodies recognize and latch onto antigens in order to remove them from the body.
  • A wide range of substances are regarded by the body as antigens, including disease-causing organisms and toxic materials such as insect venom.
  • Antibodies are produced by specialized white blood cells called B lymphocytes (or B cells).
  • When an antigen binds to the B-cell surface, it stimulates the B cell to divide and mature into a group of identical cells called a clone.
  • The mature B cells, called plasma cells, secrete millions of antibodies into the bloodstream and lymphatic system.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Antibody drugs are powerful tools of modern medicine, capable of specifically binding and disabling all sorts of targets, but they are complicated and expensive to develop. Vaccines let your body do the hard work and develop specialized antibodies to fight infections for itself.

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

Safely dispose your used mask

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19: Here is what you should do to safely dispose your used mask

      WHY IN NEWS:

These are general guidelines ! We Hope you will share this with the people whom you care.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For MAINS can you think of more safe methods of disposal ? Mention few in the comment section.

      CONTEXT: 

SIMPLE GUIDELINES TO ENSURE SAFE DISPOSAL OF USED MASKS:

FFP and surgical face masks. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

FFP and surgical face masks.

COVID-19 ISOLATION WARDS / TEST CENTRES AND LABORATORIES:

Used masks (including triple layer mask, N95 mask, etc) have to be discarded and collected in separate ‘yellow colour coded plastic bags’ (suitable for biomedical waste collection).

  • They have to be handed over to the waste collector engaged by common biomedical waste treatment facility (CBWTF) operator at the doorstep and should be incinerated.

QUARANTINED HOMES OR OTHER HOUSEHOLDS: 

Used masks should be kept in a paper bag for a minimum of 72 hours prior to their disposal as general waste.

  • This must be done in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
  • It is also advised to cut the masks prior to disposal to prevent their reuse.
  • Further, wrap and keep in a closed bin before handing the mask over to the sanitary worker.
  • This waste must be treated as domestic hazardous waste and should be incinerated by GCC.

FROM CONTAINMENT ZONES / HOTSPOTS AND SEALED REGIONS (IE RED AND ORANGE ZONES): 

  • Used masks among others (gloves, aprons, head cover etc) should be disposed and collected separately by the waste collectors and have to be incinerated or buried at a depth of at least 10 feet from the Earth’s surface in order to prevent infection.
  • Also, the sanitation staff have to be advised not to mix waste from these hotspots / containment and sealed zones

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have indicated that the masks used by patients / care givers / close contacts during home care should be disinfected using ordinary bleach solution (five per cent) or sodium hypochlorite solution (one per cent) and then disposed of either by burning or deep burial.

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

Carbon accounting

      HEADLINES:

Burning trees never a good idea

      WHY IN NEWS:

Felling forests in the guise of reducing carbon emissions may result in an irreparable loss of biodiversity

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Recent Developments: Deforestation

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS remember the essence of this terminology . Such simple definitions can be asked in UPSC Prelims . Remember it with an example .

For MAINS what are the demerits of Carbons Accounting ? List them down .

      ISSUE: 

IF THE WORLD IS A PACK OF CARDS, THEN CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE NEW JOKER.

Burning trees never a good idea

Carbon accounting is a complex process. A lot depends on the species of trees being chopped and those that are planted to replace them.

CARBON ACCOUNTING :

Carbon accounting is a means of measuring the direct and indirect emissions to the Earth’s biosphere of carbon dioxide and its equivalent gases from industrial activities.

CRITICS: 

  • Besides, carbon lost when trees are axed is replenished by those planted in their place.
  • This, they claim, makes wood-fuel carbon-neutral.
  • But carbon accounting is a more complex business than it appears, say critics.

  • It depends on a host of not-so-amenable factors such as the species being chopped and its successors; the time it would take the successor tree to restore the carbon lost; and the effect of cutting a forest on the ecosystem’s carbon stock as a whole.
  • It takes a very long time to restock the carbon lost, the wood-fuel model will result in a net increase of carbon emissions, thus adding to the existing conundrum of climate change-related global impacts.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Rather, the world would be better off by investing the same money in inherently carbon-neutral renewables like wind and solar.
  • Last but not the least, some biologists fear that felling forests in the guise of reducing carbon emissions may result in an irreparable loss of biodiversity.
     SOURCES:DOWNTOEARTH

TrueNat machines.

      HEADLINES:

Bihar government to do random testing of migrants on arrival

      WHY IN NEWS:

TrueNat machines will be used for the first time in the State for virus screening

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through the specifications of this equipment and compare this with conventional PCR kit .

For MAINS many equipment are not robust yet when it comes to accuracy and precision . Do you think these equipment are competing each other in the market ?

      ISSUE: 

With thousands and thousands of migrants, carrying stories of pain, agony and trauma, returning every day to their home districts in Bihar from all over the country, the State government has decided to start random testing.

 

Migrants who returned from Karnataka show home quarantine stamps in Danapur.FIle photo: Ranjeet Kumar

TRUENAT BETA COV TEST:

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had recommended the use of the Truenat beta CoV test on Truelab workstation as a screening test for COVID-19 on 4th April 2020.
  • It has also approved the use of US-FDA approved real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) systems such as GeneXpert and Roche Cobas- 6800/800 in emergency situations.

The test — called the Truenat Beta CoV test — effectively enables same-day testing, reporting, and patient isolation initiation (if required).

  • Its battery-operated kits are the size of a telephone and can be taken out into the field to test as many as 15 individuals a day.
  • The testing kits uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, which uses a swab from the throat to diagnose diseases — a more accurate method when it comes to diagnosis.
  • “The advantage is that it can be run several times continuously.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The big technology difference here is the underlying principle of both the traditional PCR machine and TrueNAT.

In a regular PCR machine, one can run 24 or 40 or 96 samples at a time, but the RNA has to be extracted separately. In TrueNAT, they have combined everything.”

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

Phase-2 trial with three drugs

      HEADLINES:

Phase-2 trial with three drugs offers hope

      WHY IN NEWS:

Testing in Hong Kong hospitals shows the regimen clears coronavirus in 7 days in the mildly ill

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS remember the drugs names and why they are actually used for .

For MAINS is this the needed breakthrough for COVID-19 Vaccine ?

      ISSUE: 

A phase-2 trial involving participants with mild to moderate COVID-19 illness found no detectable virus within an average seven days of starting treatment with a three-drug regimen compared with 12 days in people in the control group.

  • Samples tested for the virus comprised nasopharyngeal swab, posterior oropharyngeal saliva, throat swab, and stool samples.
  • Clinical improvement was also significantly better in those who received the three-drug regimen.

RANDOMLY ASSIGNED

  • The 127 participants were randomly assigned to either the intervention group or a control group.
  • Participants in the intervention group received oral lopinavir-ritonavir, ribavirin and injectable interferon beta-1b, while the control group received only lopinavir–ritonavir.
  • Treatment in both groups started within seven days of symptoms showing up.
  • Lopinavir-ritonavir is used for treating HIV,
  • Ribavirin for treating chronic hepatitis C virus, and
  • Injectable interferon beta-1b is used by multiple sclerosis patients.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Complete alleviation of symptoms was achieved in four days in the intervention group and eight days in the control group.
  • Analysis of secondary outcomes revealed that 52 participants in the intervention group who started treatment less than seven days after onset of symptoms showed better clinical and virological outcomes than in the control group consisting of 24 participants.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Mass hatching of Olive Ridley turtles

      HEADLINES:

Mass hatching of Olive Ridley turtles begins at Odisha’s Rushikulya rookery

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Forest department had put up a metal net fencing along a section of the coast to protect the eggs

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Biodiversity : Flora and Fauna

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this question already has been asked in the exam . Just go through it superficially .

      ISSUE: 

Welcome sight: Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings at the Rushikulya rookery in Ganjam district of Odisha.Lingaraj PandaLingaraj Panda
  • Mass hatching of Olive Ridley turtles began at Odisha’s Rushikulya rookery, a major nesting site of these marine turtles, on Thursday night.
  • Thousands of hatchlings came out of the nests buried in sand to crawl towards the sea to start their long journey.
  • On an average 80 to 100 turtles hatch from each nest.

SET TO INCREASE

  • “In the past few days, the eggs collected from sporadic nesting spots to be incubated at artificial hatcheries of the Forest department along this coast have also started to hatch,”.
  • This year, 3,23,063 Olive Ridley turtles had nested at the Rushikulya rookery.
  • The mass nesting process began in the wee hours of March 21 and continued till the night of March 28.
  • Olive Ridley turtle eggs incubate on their own in the heat of the beach sand.

TEMPERATURE MATTERS

  • They hatch in 45 to 60 days, depending on the temperature of the sand and atmosphere during the incubation period.
  • To protect the eggs from predators and humans, the Forest department had put up metal net fencing over 5 km from Gokharkuda to Bateswar, and the area was divided into 50 segments for regular watching.
  • The lockdown due to COVID-19 had stopped outsiders from reaching the spot.
“But high tides related to new moon on April 23 had washed away a large number of nests,”.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The number of mass hatchings were expected to increase in the coming days.

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

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