1)Euro zone ‘coronabonds’ might work (not yet finalized)
Coronabonds: Nine of the 19 countries that use the single currency called on March 25 for a common debt instrument issued by a European institution to fight the coronavirus outbreak and its effects.
The idea of such debt, called “coronabonds”, was rejected by Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Austria, fiscally “frugal” northern states wary of pooling liabilities with what they see as more spendthrift countries in southern Europe.
2)Explained: The ‘Bhilwara model’ of ‘ruthless containment’ to stop the coronavirus
Bhilwara in Rajasthan was one of the early hotspots of the COVID-19 outbreak. The government responded with extraordinarily aggressive measures — and the ‘Bilwara model’ could now be replicated elsewhere in the country.
What is meant by the Bhilwara model of COVID-19 containment?
The measures taken by the Rajasthan government include :-
- imposing a curfew in the district which also barred essential services,
- extensive screening and
- house-to-house surveys to check for possible cases, and
- detailed contact tracing of each positive case so as to create a dossier on everybody they met ever since they got infected.
The success of the model is attributed to the fact that Bhilwara, which was the first district in Rajasthan to report most number of coronavirus cases, has now reported only one positive case since March 30.
3)Surge in domestic violence under COVID-19 lockdown
UN Secretary-General António Guterres Monday appealed governments to pay attention to and prevent a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” over the last few weeks amid lockdown measures imposed by several countries to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Council of Europe, an intergovernmental human rights agency comprising 47 member states, also expressed concern about the increase in domestic violence during lockdowns due to the coronavirus, and said women and children were at greater risk of abuse within their own homes during this period.
In India too, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has flagged the issue of a spike in cases of domestic violence since the enforcement of the national lockdown.
4)Favipiravir: The Japanese anti-influenza drug being tested for treating COVID-19
Last week, the Japanese conglomerate Fujifilm announced the start of phase III clinical trials of Avigan, an influenza antiviral drug that is being experimented with in many countries for the treatment of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
What is Favipiravir?
Developed by Toyama Chemicals, a subsidiary of the Japanese photography company Fujifilm, Favipiravir was originally intended to be used as an antiviral in the treatment of influenza. It received regulatory approval in Japan in 2014 and was marketed as Avigan.
According to the Time report, since the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is an RNA virus like the influenza A and B viruses, Favipiravir could potentially also work against the former. The drug is less effective when the virus has already multiplied, according to a The Guardian report.