Biomedical Research Current Affairs - 2020

Men are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than women: How and Why?

Initially there was a hypothesis that men might be more vulnerable to COVID-19 virus than women. However, the hypothesis has now been proved by a research published in the European Heart Journal.

Highlights

The ACE2 enzyme in the human body is the key factor that enables the COVID-19 to infect human cells. The study has found out that levels of ACE2 enzymes are more in men than in women.

What is ACE2 enzyme?

The angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 lies in the outer surface of cells of lungs, heart, kidneys. The primary function of the enzyme is to regulate the transport of amino acids (amino acids are formed from digestion of proteins).

The ACE2 enzymes act as main entry points for the COVID-19 virus. There are hypothetical studies that say that reducing level of ACE2 enzyme could be a successful treatment for COVID-19.

The ACE inhibiting drugs are used to cure heart diseases. They also help in reducing blood pressure.

Rs 15,000 crores approved by Union Cabinet for COVID-19

On April 22, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved Rs 15,000 crores towards “India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Challenge”. The funds are to be utilised in 3 phases.

Highlights

For an immediate response Rs 7,774 crore has been sanctioned. The rest of the funds are to be utilised as medium-term support in 1 to 4 years. The main aim of the funds is to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in India.

Objectives of the fund

The main objectives of the fund are as follows

  • To develop COVID-19 dedicated treatment facilities
  • To develop COVID-19 dedicated Diagnostics
  • To procure essential medical equipment to treat COVID-19 patients
  • To procure drugs to treat the disease
  • To prepare for future disease outbreaks
  • To set up laboratories
  • To improve surveillance activities
  • To increase bio-security preparedness
  • To encourage more COVID-19 research

All the above initiatives are to be implemented under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.