WHO Current Affairs - 2020

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India to participate in WHO trials of COVID-19

On March 28, 2020, ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) announced that India is to participate in trials of WHO (World Health Organization). The trials are to identify potential cures for the outbreak of COVID-19.


So far, the COVID-19 infected cases were few in numbers that India could not participate in the trials. Now with the number of cases increasing to 940, India becomes eligible to participate in the WHO solidarity trials. The WHO has launched 4 mega trials. The trials include the use of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine, currently used by India and also HIV drugs such as Lopinavir and Ritonavir.

Apart from India, other countries such as France, Iran, Thailand, Argentina, Canada, Norway, Spain, South Africa and Switzerland.

Current Steps

India is to import 3.4 million probes for rapid testing of the virus. India will participate in all the trials of WHO. There are around 50 different trials being conducted by the organization.

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HydroxyChloroquine now made a H1 Drug in India; Exports banned

On March 27, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare declared the Hydroxycholoroquine as a Schedule H1 drug. With this GOI has brough upon restrictions on sales and distribution of the drug.


The Hydroxychloroquine drug was declared as an essential drug to treat COVID-19 patients. Out of the 4 treatments suggested by the World Health Organization to contain the virus, India adopted the use of Hydroxychloroquine. And hence, exports of the drugs were banned in the country. Currently the drug is being prescribed for symptomatic patients and also for asymptomatic patients that are in contact with the Corona infected patients.

What is Schedule H1?

The drugs listed under Schedule H1 are required to be sold under following conditions

  • The supply if H1 drugs are to be registered in a separate register. The register should hold the name and address of the prescriber and the patient. It should also hold quantity supplied. And these details are to be held by the supplier for a minimum of three years.
  • The drug listed under Schedule H1 should be labelled as “Rx” in red colour. The label should also carry precautionary warnings

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