International Current Affairs - 2020

Latest International Current Affairs 2019 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2019.

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Corona Virus: A new stain of virus found in China

On January 11, 2020, China reported the first death in the country due to pneumonia caused by a new virus that is of outbreak in the city of Wuhan. The Chinese scientists discovered that the new strain of virus is that of the corona virus.

Highlights

According to the WHO, the outbreak in Wuhan in less virulent. However, China is responding swiftly to control the outbreak.

Earlier outbreaks

In 2002-03, the flu-like Sars virus that belongs to Corona virus family, killed more than 700 people in the world. The virus originated in China.

The other deadly virus of the corona virus is the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). There is no specific vaccine for the virus as of 2019. The virus was first identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. Most of the cases have occurred in Arabian peninsula.

Corona Virus

Corona Viruses were first found in humans in1960s. the viruses cause flu and gastro intestinal problems. They have great genetic variability, meaning, they can over come barriers between different species.

The virus has protrusions on its surface. This makes the virus look like an emperor’s crown and hence the name Corona virus. The protrusions are made of proteins The Virus can also infect cattle, dogs, pigs, camels, birds and hedgedogs apart from humans.

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Cabinet approves India’s MoUs with UK, Sweden and BMGF

On January 8, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understandings India had signed with United Kingdom, Sweden and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)

India-BMGF

The Ministry of Health and BMGF had signed the Mou in November 2019. The BMGF agreed to work with the Ministry to strengthen health sector of the country. It focuses on reducing child mortality, morbidity, maternal mortality and neonatal mortality. Also, it will aim to reduce burden of diseases such as Lymphatic Filariasis, Visceral Leishmaniasis and TB. The BMGF will also aid in improving quality of family planning methods.

The cabinet provided an ex-post facto approval for the project. Ex-post Facto is a Latin Word that means “from a thing done afterward”. In simple words, the project has already been started of completed.

India-Sweden

The Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministry of Education and Research signed Mou in December 2019. According to the MoU, the countries will work on Polar Science. The countries agreed on polar exploration as they are both signatories of Protocol to Antarctic Treaty on Environmental Protection and Antarctic Treaty.

India-UK

The Ministry of Railway and the UK Government signed MoU to make Indian Railways self-sufficient in energy. The parties will work towards adopting solar and wind energy and adopt energy efficient practices. The UK Government will also aid in deploying Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.

The objective of the MoU is to integrate renewable energy into electricity grid of railways. The UK Government will also help in conducting workshops, trainings and technological exchanges on emerging technologies on renewable energy.

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