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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 08-April-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. MPLADS SUSPENDED AND SALARY CUT

  2. PENCH TIGER DEATH

  3. DRIVE THROUGH TESTING

  4. LARGE OUTBREAK AMENABLE TO CONTAINMENT PHASE

  5. US – TALIBAN DEAL

  6. SAMADHAN

  7. THREE TIER CLASSSIFICATION OF HOSPITALS FOR DIVERSE LEVELS OF INFECTION

  8. BHILWARA MODEL AGAINST CORONAVIRUS


MPLADS SUSPENDED AND SALARY CUT

Why in news?

  • The Union Cabinet on Monday approved a 30% cut in the salaries of all Members of Parliament and a two-year suspension of the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme so that the amount saved can go to the Consolidated Fund of India to fight COVID-19.


Highlights:

  • An ordinance to amend the Salaries, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, to cut the salaries of MPs by 30% has been approved.

  • MPLADS has been suspended for two years.

  • Reacting to the Cabinet decisions, Congress said in a tweet that the Congress supported the salary cut for MPs. However, suspending the MPLAD scheme would undermine the role of MPs

  • Under MPLADS, each MP has the choice to suggest to the district collector developmental works of Rs 5 crore per year in his/her constituency.

  • Shashi Tharoor commented, “By decentralising the allocations of development funds, MPLADS have allowed legislators to usher small scale and time-sensitive projects within their respective constituencies. By removing the resources at their disposal to make critical interventions and bringing them under the ambit of the Consolidated Fund of India, it would centralise the allocation of funds, in turn, potentially leading to significant delays in the devolution of funds.”


Source : NEWS 18 (https://www.news18.com/news/india/fills-gaps-in-governance-in-letter-to-pm-modi-tharoor-shows-how-suspension-of-mplad-fund-is-not-a-good-idea-2567869.html )



PENCH TIGER DEATH

Why in news?

  • The mysterious death of a full-grown tiger in Pench Tiger Reserve -- with ravaged lungs and fatal respiratory distress -- the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Central Zoo Authority (CZA) on Monday issued alerts to the chief wildlife warden of Madhya Pradesh and all other states over reports of Covid-19 infection in captive tigers in US.


Highlights:

  • The 10-year-old tiger died on the morning of April 4. T21 had been found unresponsive in a waterbody in Pench Reserve, and was injected with medicines through a dart. But it died the next morning. 

  • An autopsy yielded a football-sized hairball in its stomach, and its lungs were badly damaged, but there was no immediate clue to cause of death. 

  • “We will discuss with vets on what steps need to be taken. As per standard procedures, it was to be sent to wildlife laboratory in Jabalpur for histopathological report, which includes tests for virus and poison,” said Pench field director Vikram Singh Parihar. 

  • Wildlife experts don’t believe Covid-19 is a risk in the wild. “I don’t think Covid-19 can infect our wild tigers. The US case is that of a zoo tiger, which has less immunity than those in the wild.” said retired forest officer R P Soni.


Source : Times of India ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/coronavirus-alert-for-tigers-comes-two-days-after-mystery-death-in-pench-tiger-reserve/articleshow/75020028.cms )



DRIVE THROUGH TESTING

Why in news?

  • In a first, a private lab in Delhi will have a drive through testing facility for COVID-19 infection. Starting April 6, Dr Dang Path Labs will be conducting tests for the novel Coronavirus at Punjabi Bagh in West Delhi, the Indian Express reported.


Highlights:

  • The report highlighted that in order to get the test done, the patient has to follow the similar guidelines as anyone else. For testing, a doctor’s prescription will be required where he or she has recommended the COVID-19 test and doctor’s registration number should also be present.

  • Apart from this, a government photo-ID like Aadhaar Card will be needed along with a patient’s proforma request form available online on the government’s website.

  • This kind of testing is an effective way during a pandemic. Earlier, private labs have been conducting coronavirus tests from either a patient’s house or from a testing facility.

  • However, in homes, people are apprehensive about the places or other houses that a testing personnel has visited, despite the measures being taken.

  • Testing in medical facilities, on the other hand, also poses a risk of transmission to some extent as the person would be touching railings of the stairs, chairs, armrests. 


Source : Financial Express ( https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/health/coronavirus-testing-drive-through-covid-19-tests-in-delhi-roll-down-car-windows-get-tested/1919313/ )




LARGE OUTBREAK AMENABLE TO CONTAINMENT PHASE

Why in news?

  • With just over a week left of the 21-day COVID-19 containment lockdown, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday that India has now stepped out of the local transmission phase and moved into the “large outbreaks amenable to containment phase”.


Highlights:

  • With a current case doubling rate of 96 hours and the infection having spread to nearly 300 of the 736 district across the country, the protocol now followed has been set out in the Union Health Ministry’s recently released document “Containment plan for large outbreaks”.

  • This includes “re-defining the area of operation, active surveillance for cases and contacts in the identified geographic zone, expanding laboratory capacity for testing all suspect cases, high risk contacts and SARI cases, operationalize surge capacities created for isolation (COVID-19 hospitals/COVID-19 dedicated blocks) to hospitalise and manage all suspect / confirmed cases.”

  • The other measures under the protocol include implementation of social distancing measures with strict perimeter control, providing chemoprophylaxis with hydroxy-chloroquine to asymptomatic healthcare workers and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases and the further intensification of risk communication through audio, social and visual media.

  • As per the surge capacity recommendation, the government is empowered to enhance capacity and bring in private hospitals and augment laboratory testing capacity, notes the 20-page document.

  • Anticipating about 15% of the patients are likely to require hospitalisation, and an additional 5% will require ventilator management, the Centre has planned a three-tier arrangement for managing suspect and confirmed cases which is now being implemented to decrease burden on the COVID blocks and hospitals.

  •  The Ministry is also looking at scaling down operations “if no secondary laboratory confirmed COVID-19 case is reported fr