Corona Virus Current Affairs - 2020

PUSA: Decontamination Tunnel developed by ICAR

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute has developed PUSA decontamination tunnel. It was inaugurated on April 16, 2020 by the Union Minister Shri Kailash Choudhary.

About the Tunnel

The Tunnel includes foot operated water dispenser and soap. The tunnel also provides fogging for about 20 seconds. Also, it sources Quaternary Ammonium Compounds that are used at concentration of 0.045%. The concentration amount has been fixed as recommended by the Health department.

Quaternary Ammonium compounds

These are compounds are often used as surfactants, disinfectant, antistatic agents or fabric softener. They also have antimicrobial activity. They are cationic detergents that are commonly used to remove organic materials. They are commonly used in food service industries as sanitizing agents. They are effective till 100 degree Celsius.

They work against fungi, viruses and amoeba by disrupting their cell membranes.

ICAR

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research coordinates agricultural research and education. In 2006, the institute developed vaccine for bird flu. Also, the ICAR scientists were the first to sequence pigeon pea genome.

India restricts export ban of HCQ drug

On April 7, India announced restrictions on export of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drug.

What is the issue?

India had imposed ban on export of HCQ drug to prevent the shortage of the drug in the country. The United States and 30 other countries including some of the SAARC countries have been pressuring India to remove the ban. The United States lately has been forcing India upon its ban as the shortages in US has been increasing greatly.

The United States is a major importer of HCQ and other drugs. The other countries that are demanding India to remove the export ban include Brazil, Germany, France, UK, Australia, Israel and Gulf countries. India considering their requests has put on restrictions to the export ban, meaning the ban has not been removed completely.

Significance of HCQ

The Hydroxychloroquine drug is one of the four mega methods considered for trials to contain the spread of COVID-19. The drug is used in the US as a preventive measure. The drug is recommended to asymptomatic patients that are in close contact with the COVID-19 patients.