Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2020

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First COVID-19 vaccine trial begins in the United States

On March 16, 2020, the United States of America began the first human trial evaluating COVID-19 vaccine. The US National Institute of Health will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers between age 18 and 55 for a period of 6 weeks in order to test the vaccine.

Highlights

A healthy volunteer from Seattle, Kaiser Permante of Washington was injected with the vaccine. The vaccine was developed by a private firm called Moderna.

Under the vaccination of COVID-19, three different doses are to be tested. During the trial phase, it is to be studied if the vaccines are safe and whether they stimulate the immune system of humans to create antibodies to stop COVID-19.

The vaccine has been synthesized from a stretch of RNA embedded in a lipid nano particle. The Food and Drug Administration recently permitted to the trial tests of the vaccine.

Clinical Trials in India

Recently, the Indian Council of Medical Research announced that, it will take minimum of two years for India to develop a vaccine against Corona Virus. While India was able to isolate the virus strains, it is challenging for the country to develop a vaccine against the disease.

This is mainly because, the number of clinical trials in India is far less as compared to other countries. India contributes only 2.7% of global clinical trials. On the other hand, the US contributes 47%, followed by EU of 18%, Japan of 11%.

In order to improve the situation, India should take active part in platforms like ICTRP of the World Health Organization

ICTRP of WHO

The International Clinical Trials Registry Platform of WHO is a mission aimed to make sure a complete view of research is accessible to those who are involved in health care trials.

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Portugal President to make a 4-day visit to India

Portugal President Rebelo de Sousa is to make a four-day visit to India. The last visit by a Portugal President to India was in 2007.

Highlights

The Portugal President during his visit will hold talks with President Ram Nath and PM Modi. He will also travel to the states of Maharashtra and Goa.  The countries will sign agreements over transfer of technologies in water and sewerage management systems.

Significance

His visit comes ahead of his taking over as European Union Council Presidency. He will preside over as the President of European Union in 2021. It is to be noted that the first India-EU summit was held in 2000 during the presidency of Portugal.

European Union President

There are three Presidents of European Union namely, president of European Council, president of European Parliament and President of European Commission. On the world stage, the president of European Council is considered to be the principal president of the organization.

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