Corona Virus Current Affairs - 2020

India prepares for Corona Virus-Steps of Health Ministry

India has been closely monitoring the happenings in China after more than 200 cases were confirmed to be infected with Corona virus (a new stain). The increase in numbers is mainly because more than millions travel for Lunar New Year in China.

On January 17, 2020 Thailand reported to have found the first case of the virus following Japan.

Highlights

India is preparing itself after it has learnt from WHO (World Health Organization) that the infections of the virus are linked to sea food market. Managing the importation of the virus into the country is being strengthened.

International travelers from China are being examined thoroughly using thermal scanners. These are currently being done at Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata international terminals.

The Health Ministry has issued directions to laboratory diagnosis, infection prevention and surveillance of the virus.

The other measures of Health Ministry is as follows

  • Ministry of External Affairs has been requested to provide details of travelers from Wuhan city where the virus is spreading rapidly
  • The states have been instructed to increase area of surveillance and laboratory support infection prevention and control.
  • The Joint Monitoring Group operating under DGHS (Directorate General of Health Services) meets to assess risks. WHO attends the meeting and provides regular updates.
  • GoI has issued travel advisory
  • National Institute of Virology, Pune has been appointed the nodal agency to test the virus samples.
  • Rapid Response Teams that are trained in MERS-CoV outbreak have been set up in states and union territories.

Sea Food Scenario in India

The chances of India being the victim of the virus is minimal. This is because India’s imports of sea food are highly limited. According to 2018 report of MPEDA (Marine Products Export Development Authority), India exported sea food (fish predominantly) worth of 6,923 million USD and imported 138 million USD. USA is the predominant import destination of India according to MPEDA. Import of sea food from other countries is miniscule or negligent. As far as China is considered, Japan is its leading importer of sea food from China, followed by USA, Hong Kong and Korea.

Though chances are minimal, India is preparing itself to encounter the situation.

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.

 Categories: International Current Affairs
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