Europe Current Affairs - 2020

GoI lifts ban on Paracetamol API exports

On May 28, 2020, the Government of India lifted the ban on export of paracetamol Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients.

Highlights

The removal of ban will now allow the export of pharmaceutical ingredients used for COVID-19 treatment. In order to achieve this, the GoI has amended Section 3 of Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) act, 1992.

The Impose of Ban

The Government of India had earlier imposed export ban on over 26 pharma ingredients. This included paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine. This was done to avoid shortages inside the country during the outbreak of COVID-19. On April 6, 2020, the export ban on 24 APIs were lifted leaving out Paracetamol.

Supply of APIs to Europe

India is to supply 1000 tonnes of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) to Europe. Europe is the largest buyer of Paracetamol from India. Europe alone imports more than 12,000 tonnes of paracetamol annually.

Paracetamol

Paracetamol is a pain reliever. It was first made in 1877. It is placed in the Essential Medicine List of World Health Organization.

In 2018-19, India exported 5.8 billion USD worth paracetamol. The export of paracetamol in 2019-20 (till January 2020) was 5.41 billion USD.

Corona Virus: ICMR develops testing strategy; WHO shifts epicenter from China to Europe

On March 15, 2020, the Indian Council of Medical Research developed COVID-19 testing strategy for people infected with the virus. The Council has given a detailed explanation about the methodology to test the people.

Centres of Testing

The three main testing centres of Corona Virus are AIIMS, National Institute of Virology and National Centre for Disease control. Apart from these major centres, GoI has also built 50 new exclusive centres that are to test for the virus.

Epicenter shifted to Europe

The World Health Organization recently shifted the epicenter of Corona Virus from China to Europe. This is mainly because while rate of infections are being controlled in China, it is increasing exponentially in European Nations. Also, the number of deaths due to the virus in Europe is more than any other part of the world.

Update on the Virus

So far, more than 150,000 people have been infected with the virus. In India, the count has increased to 97.