Saudi Arabia Current Affairs - 2020

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WHO names the new Corona Virus: “COVID-19”

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced a new name for the Corona Virus, “COVID-19”. Today more than 42,000 are infected with the virus according to the organization.


WHO has chosen the name with no reference to geographical location. According to WHO, the name was chosen in such away that it does not affect normal lives of a country.


MERS is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. It is a deadly Corona Virus strain that was first reported in Saudi Arabia and created havoc in China greatly. However, the name of the virus has created a fact that there is something about the middle east region that causes MERS viral infection.


In 2009, swine flu created pandemic. It has now been renamed to H1N1 as its strain was similar to that of the influenza virus. The influenza virus is known to circulate among pigs. Though there was no evidence that H1N1 circulates in a similar way, it affected the sales of pork greatly that year. Therefore, it is important for WHO to choose the name of the viruses very carefully.

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OPEC cuts production to 500,000 barrels per day

On December 6, 2019, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a deal deepening their output cuts. They have set the target as 500,000 barrels a day. The action is being implemented in order to eliminate surplus and bolster crude prices

Current Scenario

In 2019, the organization had agreed to reduce production by about 1.2 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia in 2019 pumped well below its quota of 10.3 million barrels per day. Other members of the organization Azerbaijan, Mexico and Angola were unable to sustain their production quota due to natural declines. Russia had achieved its target in 3 months. Nigeria and Iraq increased their output.

The above data was published by the International Energy Agency.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia plays the major role in the OPEC decisions. OPEC oil production dipped to an eight-year low after attacks on Saudi oil plants. Following the attacks, Iraq emerged as the major producer of the organization.


India imports 80% of its petroleum needs from OPEC countries. However, India has been reducing its dependence on the OPEC countries. In October 2019, India imported 4.56 million barrels per day from OPEC. This is 3.3% low as compared to the previous year.

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