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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 15-April-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. POOL TESTING FOR CORONA

  2. PM’s ADDRESS TO THE NATION

  3. DekhoApnaDesh

  4. COVID-19: US ALLOWS H-1B VISA EXTENSION, RELIEF FOR STRANDED INDIANS

  5. ANDHRA PRADESH ELECTION COMMISSION

  6. IMF APPROVES DEBT RELIEF

  7. CORONA BOND

  8. US – INDIA MISSILE DEAL




POOL TESTING FOR CORONA

Why in news?

  • India is all set to start “pool testing” to speed up results, contact tracing and reduce workload on laboratories. 


Highlights:

  • The pooled testing method involves putting multiple swab samples together, and testing them using a single RTPCR test. If that test is negative, it means that all the people tested are negative.

  • However, if the test is positive, everyone whose samples were part of the test have to be tested separately, to identify positive individuals. 

  • According to officials in the government, the new testing strategy will not only widen reach but will speed up results. 

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) late on Thursday also revised its testing strategy including all symptomatic patients in clusters, hot spots and in large migration gatherings, evacuees centres. 

  • As per the new guideline, all symptomatic patients with influeza like illness (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose) will be tested. The ICMR has said to conduct RT-PCR within seven days of illness for such patients and after seven days of illness, antibody test should be conducted followed by RT-PCR.


Source : Economic Times ( https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/healthcare/pool-testing-planned-to-speed-up-results-cut-workload-of-labs/articleshow/75090258.cms?from=mdr )


PM’s ADDRESS TO THE NATION

Why in news?

  • PM addresses the nation for 4th time in 4 Weeks in India’s fight against COVID-19


Highlights:

  • The Prime Minister announced the extension of lockdown till 3rd May, 2020. The earlier 21 day lockdown is ending on the 14th of April 2020.

  • Prime Minister also suggested that those areas which are of low risk may be permitted to open up for certain specific activities from 20th April 2020. However, permissions will be withdrawn immediately if lockdown rules are broken, and if there is threat of spread of Coronavirus. Detailed guidelines will follow tomorrow.


Seven steps that need to be followed by every citizen –

  • First, to take special care of the elderly, especially those who have chronic disease. 

  • Second to completely adhere to the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ of Lockdown and Social Distancing; use homemade face-covers and masks without fail.

  • Third to follow the instructions issued by AYUSH ministry to enhance immunity.

  • Fourth to download the Arogya Setu Mobile App to help prevent the spread of corona infection. Inspire others to download the app as well.

  • Fifth to take care of poor families; to fulfil their food requirements.

  • Sixth to be compassionate towards the people who work in every individual business or industry. Do not deprive them of their livelihood.

  • Seventh to pay utmost respect to our nation’s Corona Warriors – our doctors and nurses, sanitation workers and police force.


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx )



DekhoApnaDesh


Why in news?

  • The Ministry of Tourism has launched its "DekhoApnaDesh" webinar series from today to provide information on the many destinations and the sheer depth and expanse of the culture and heritage of our Incredible India. 


Highlights:

  • The first webinar, which was part of a series that shall unfold, touched upon the long history of Delhi as it has unfolded as 8 cities, each one unique in its character and leaving behind traces which makes Delhi the magnificent city that it is today.

  • The webinar was titled " City of Cities- Delhi's Personal Diary'.

  • The series of  webinars shall be an on-going feature and the Ministry would work towards showcasing the diverse and remarkable history and culture of India including its monuments, cuisine, arts, dance forms. natural landscapes, festivals and many other aspects of the  rich Indian civilization.

  • The webinar shall be available in public domain soon. It will be availableon the Ministry’s social media handles- IncredibleIndia on Instagram and Facebook.


Source : PIB (https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx )



COVID-19: US ALLOWS H-1B VISA EXTENSION, RELIEF FOR STRANDED INDIANS

Why in news?

  • In a big relief for thousands of stranded Indian professionals in America due to the coronavirus pandemic, the US government has decided to accept their H-1B visa applications for an extended stay in the country. 


Highlights:

  • The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

  •  The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China. 

  • The travel restrictions have left a number of H-1B visa holders stranded in the US with their visa permits soon to expire. However, the Department of Homeland Security will shortly start accepting applications for the extension of expiring visas. 

  • Non-immigrants could apply for an extension of stay (EOS) or chang