Factly articles for 25th May 2020

8 min read

1.COVID Action Platform

Facts:

  • COVID Action Platform was created by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • Aim: To convene the business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response.
  • The fund has the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.

2.Heatwave: IMD issues ‘red alert’ for several parts of north India

News: India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red warning for Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Rajasthan for the next two days.

Facts:

  • Heat Wave: It is a period of abnormally high temperatures more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western and South Central parts of India.
  • Time of occurrence: They typically occur between March and June and in some rare cases even extend till July.
  • Affects: The extreme temperatures and resultant atmospheric conditions affects people living in these regions as they cause dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.
  • Criteria: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has given the following criteria for Heat Waves:
  • Alerts for Heat Waves by IMD:

3.CBI alerts States, U.T.s and Central agencies to malicious software threat

News: Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) has sent alerts to all the States, Union Territories and the central agencies on a malicious software named Cerberus threat that is taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Facts:

  • Cerberus:It is a banking Trojan which is primarily used to steal financial data such as credit card numbers.
  • It uses a phishing method to send SMS to lure a user to download the link containing the malicious software.

Additional Facts:

  • Trojan horse: It is a malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program to trick users into downloading and installing malware.
  • Phishing: It is a method in which users are contacted by email, telephone or text message by posing as a legitimate institution to lure into providing sensitive data such as personal information, banking and credit card details.

4.Andhra Pradesh launches ReStart Programme

Facts:

  • ReStart Programme has been launched by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to support the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise(MSME) sector.
  • Under the programme,
    • A Special Fund of Rs.200 crore has been set up to provide input capital loan to the firms at low interest rates.
    • Mandatory Purchasing by Government from MSMEs.
    • Power charges have been waived off for three months.

5.Three new plant Species in Western Ghats

News:Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered three new plant species in the evergreen forest patches of the southern end of the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Facts:

  • Eugenia sphaerocarpa: It belongs to the Myrtaceae or Rose apple family.It was found in the Malabar wildlife sanctuary in Kerala.
  • Goniothalamus sericeus: It belongs to the Annonaceae family of custard apple.It has been found in the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.
  • Memecylon nervosum: It belongs to the Melastomataceae (Kayamboo or Kaasavu in local parlance) family.It was found at the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.

Additional Facts:

  • Botanical Survey of India(BSI): Founded in 1890, it comes under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • Purpose: Survey, research and conservation of plant resources, flora and endangered species of India including by collecting and maintaining germplasm and gene bank of endangered, patent and vulnerable plant species.

6.National community-based sero-survey to estimate prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection

Facts:

  • Sero Survey: It involves testing the blood samples of a group of individuals to monitor trends in prevalence of the novel coronavirus or SARS-COV-2 infection at the district level.
  • Under this, a combination of Elisa antibody kits and RT-PCR will be used for testing.For RT-PCR tests, throat and nasal swabs will be collected.
  • Bodies Involved: Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Control in collaboration with key stakeholders and state Health Departments.
  • Why Sero Survey: It will involve high and low-risk groups in select districts.This will help the government and its agencies monitor Covid-19 trends but also check for community transmission in any part of the country.

Additional Facts:

  • Community Transmission: It means that the source of infection for the spread of an illness is unknown or a link in terms of contacts between patients and other people is missing.
  • Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction(RT-PCR) Tests:It is a nuclear-derived method for detecting the presence of specific genetic material from any pathogen including a virus.
  • ELISA Test: ELISA stands for enzyme-linked immunoassay.It is a commonly used laboratory test to detect antibodies in the blood.