Current Affairs - December, 2018

Latest Current Affairs December, 2018 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of December, 2018 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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India rebuts CDC Zika alert for Indian travel

The Indian Government has strongly rebutted the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) travel advisory for Indian travel. The Zika alert will adversely affect tourism.

What is the travel advisory?

The CDC’s travel advisory forbids pregnant women to travel to India as Zika is “endemic” in the country. The advisory also asks travellers to take precaution to prevent mosquito bites and use condoms or not have sex to protect against Zika during travel.

Pregnant women are advised not to travel to areas with risk of Zika because Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects.

India was put under Level 2 alert which requires enhanced protection. Level 1 precaution calls for “usual precautions”, and Level 3 advises against non-essential travel.

India’s rebuttal

India has sent a rebuttal to CDC along with all research done on the Zika strain in India, the cases reported, measures taken etc. India has taken strong objection to the use of the word “endemic” because the Zika outbreaks in India are localised and contained within small areas, be it in Gujarat where three cases were reported last year, in Tamil Nadu or the more recent one in Rajasthan.

Research by scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research has shown that the Zika strains in India are less virulent than in Brazil and are not associated with microcephaly.


Zika is a mosquito-borne infection spread by a virus. Zika was first identified in Uganda in 1947 among monkeys and was detected in humans five years later. Sporadic cases have since been reported across the world since the 1960s. In 2015, Brazil reported a major Zika outbreak. The research’s also linked Zika to microcephaly (i.e. babies born with small and underdeveloped brains).

India to build new vertical bridge to replace Pamban Bridge

Indian Railways is building the country’s first vertical-lift bridge to connect Rameswaram  to mainland India. The bridge will allow ships and steamers to pass through without any hindrance.

The new bridge would replace the existing 104-year-old Pamban bridge. It would be ready in the next four years.

About the New Vertical Bridge

The New Bridge will have a 63-metre stretch which will lift up while remaining parallel to the deck to allow access to the ships. The lifting would be done using sensors at each end. The new bridge will have electro-mechanical controlled systems which will be interlocked with train control systems in place of existing manual operation and control.

Pamban Bridge

Pamban Bridge connects the town of Rameswaram on Pamban Island to mainland India. Pamban Bridge was the first sea bridge of India and was the longest sea bridge in India until the Bandra-Worli Sea Link was opened in 2010.

Pamban Bridge is located in a very challenging location. It is located the world’s second most corrosive environment after Florida and is prone to high-velocity cyclones. This makes maintenance very challenging.