Gujarat Model Current Affairs - 2020

COVID-19: ICMR participates in Global Solidarity Trials of WHO

The Indian Council for Medical Research is to participate in Global Solidarity Trial of COVID-19 launched by the World Health Organization (WHO).

About the trials

The WHO has launched four mega trials to test the efficiency and accuracy of four treatments. The treatments are as follows

  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Remdesivir
  • Lopinavir-Ritonavir
  • Lopinavir-Ritonavir along with Interferon.

Lopinavir and Ritonavir are currently being used to treat HIV infections. Remdesivir has still not be approved anywhere in the world. However, there are clinical trials that proved that the drug blocked Ebola virus in Rhesus monkeys.

The trials are to compare the effectiveness of the treatment and assess their effectiveness. They will also help to discover if any of the drugs will slow down the progression of COVID-19 and improve the survival rate of the patients.

The organization is to conclude the efficacy of the treatment based on the mortality rate, health condition, severe drug reactions and need for ventilator support.

Gujarat participates in the trial

The Gujarat Hospitals from four major cities are to participate in the trial. This includes Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot. The ICMR will represent the WHO in conducting the trials in India. Volunteer patients from the hospitals of these four cities are to be included in the trials.

India is among the 100 countries that are participating in the trial.

ICAR prepared fisheries guidelines become part of FAO

On May 7, 2020, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) released advisories to fisheries sector in 12 languages. Apart from Hindi and English, advisories were issued in 10 regional languages.


The advisories were prepared and issued by ICAR-CIFRI (Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute), Barrackpore. It included rivers, reservoirs, estuaries, wetlands and reservoirs. Apart from these, capture fisheries were also included.

FAO Global Guidelines

The advisories for fisheries sector have become part of FAO global guidelines. The Food and Agriculture Organization has recommended the advisories prepared by the council for the region of Asia and its initiatives. The guidelines have been made voluntary guidelines for securing Sustainable small-scale fisheries.


The advisories come as the fish workers, processors, fishermen and their communities face threats of pandemic. This has been affecting their livelihoods and value chains.

How is COVID-19 affecting Fisheries sector?

The fishing activity has come to a halt. This was mainly because of labour shortage, limited supplies of ice, gear and bait. As the markets are closed because of lock down the fish farmers are not able to sell their harvest. The export species are equally affected. The fisheries sector has also received major blow from the closure of food services especially, the hotels and restaurants operating in tourism sector.

Successful Measures in India

  • Time Auction System adopted in Kerala had been a huge hit.
  • Large scale mechanized boats have been banned in India. However, small beach landing boats are allowed to help in food security needs of the fishermen.
  • Around 75,000 fishermen are still staying in the sea. They are kept in the sea to ensure their safety. In Gujarat, around 15,000 trawlers have been anchored to keep the fishermen safe. They are said to be under sea quarantine.