COVID-19 Current Affairs - 2020

UN launches Global Humanitarian Response Plan to fight against COVID-19

On March 25, 2020, the United Nations launched Global Humanitarian Response Plan to fight against COVID-19. The organization has allocated 2 billion USD to implement the plan. The plan has been launched in 51 countries of Africa, South America, Middle East and also Asia.

Highlights

The plan is to be implemented by the United Nations in direct collaboration with international NGOs. Under the plan, the organization is to deliver essential medical supplies and laboratory equipment to test the virus. It is to install hand washing stations in different settlements.

Also, public information campaigns are to be launched. The campaigns will create awareness among people to save themselves and also save others.

Significance

The plan is to target poor countries that lack widely spread health initiatives. The virus has so far killed 16,000 and has infected more than 400,000. It has spread across the entire world and is now spreading to countries that are already facing humanitarian concerns.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana launched to fight COVID-19

On March 26, 2020, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman launched Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana. The scheme is an economic help package for people in the country to fight against COVID-19 and its effects. Around 1.7 lakh crore has been allocated under the package.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana

Under the scheme, around 80 crore people are to get 5 kg of free rice and wheat for the next three months. This is additional to the already allotted 5 kg of subsidized rice and wheat. Along with this, they will also get 1 kg of free pulses per household. The scheme will provide insurance cover for doctors, sanitation workers, nurses, paramedics and other staffs working on the front line in the fight against the virus.

The scheme is to perform a direct benefit transfer of Rs 1000 to old age, Divyangs and pensioners. This will benefit 3 crore people.

Apart from this, the funds allocated are to be spread across several other government schemes

Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana

The scheme is to offer free cylinders under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Scheme. This will benefit around 8.3 crore Below Poverty Line Families.

MNREGA

The economic package has increased daily wages of MNREGA from Rs 182 to Rs 202. This is to benefit 5 crore workers.

During Lock Down, when people are to stay indoors, the workers will not be able to work under MNREGA scheme. Then why include MNREGA? It is to be noted that GoI has now included sanitation workers under MNREGA scheme. And sanitation workers are to work full time and their salaries have been doubled as well. Also, they are to get Rs 2000 extra perks for a period of three months. The inclusion of the sanitation workers under MNREGA  had been made when GoI introduced Phase II of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

Under the scheme, women account holders will receive Rs 500 per month for the next three months. Under this step, around 20 crore account holders are to be benefitted.