tuberculosis Current Affairs - 2020

WHO on Corona Virus: Virus is not yet pandemic

The World Health Organization on February 4, 2020 announced that the Corona virus disease has not yet become pandemic. The disease has so far killed 425 people and has infected more than 20,000. Hong Kong recently reported death due to the virus. It is the first country outside China to report death.


Though the disease spreads through sneezes, coughs and direct contact, the disease has not yet become pandemic.

What is Pandemic?

An Epidemic disease spread over a large region is pandemic. Currently, the WHO list of pandemics include HIV, 2009 flu, Spanish flu and H1N1. Previously small pox and Tuberculosis were also included under Pandemics. The most devastating pandemics in the world was Black Death that killed more than 100 million people in the world.

Possible Future Pandemics

According to WHO, the antibiotic resistant micro-organisms called the superbugs may re-emerge as possible pandemics.

WHO reports that more than 50 million people are infected with Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis. All of these cases are resistant to more than two to three antibiotics.

Tuberculosis: India renames its programme; WHO endorses India developed tech-TrueNAt MTB

On January 17, 2020, Government of India renamed its National TB Control Programme to National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme. Also, the WHO (World Health Organization) recently endorsed on technology developed by Indian scientists to detect the disease called TrueNat MTB in terms of accuracy.


GoI has renamed the programme to National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme. The name change is in line with the goal of India in eliminating the disease by 2025. This is five years ahead of the goal of United Nations Sustainable Development target.

This will give big thrust to people working towards elimination of tuberculosis. Also, with the WHO stating that TruNat MTB, the molecular test developed by Indian Scientists has greatest accuracy, has increased India’s confidence in eliminating the disease as planned


The TrueNat test a new molecular test that can diagnose Tuberculosis in one hour. The test uses polymerase chain reaction to detect bacteria. The device that conducts the test is battery operated.

India’s plans

The TrueNat MTB kit is to be available at community health centres as a first step. Slowly, it is to be extended to the primary health centres as well. There are around 5,500 to 6,000 primary health centres in the country.

Leprosy and Polio

Previously renaming was also done for leprosy and polio programmes. In 1983, National Control Programme was renamed to National Leprosy Eradication Programme. Also, in case of Polio, National Programme for Control of Polio myelitis was renamed to Polio eradication Programme.