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Indian Express Explained 13th March 2020

1) Explained: What is circuit breaker in stock market?

Central Theme :-Since the indexes plunged more than 10 per cent each day earlier, a circuit breaker was triggered for the first time since 2009 halting trading for 45 minutes.

What are circuit breakers?

In June 2001, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) implemented index-based market-wide circuit breakers. Circuit breakers are triggered to prevent markets from crashing, which happens when market participants start to panic induced by fears that their stocks are overvalued and decide to sell their stocks.

This index-based market-wide circuit breaker system applies at three stages of the index movement, at 10, 15 and 20 per cent. When triggered, these circuit breakers bring about a coordinated trading halt in all equity and equity derivative markets nationwide.

For instance, if the S&P BSE Sensex were to fall more than 10 per cent before 1 pm on a given day, circuit breakers would be triggered for a period of 45 minutes; in case it fell more than 15 per cent on or after 2 pm, circuit breakers would be triggered for the remainder of the day and in case it fell more than 20 per cent at any time of the day, the trading would be halted for the remainder of the day.

2)Explained: How Coronavirus differs from the Spanish Flu of 1918

Central Theme :- As the coronavirus spreads around the world and public anxieties spike, comparisons between today’s situation and the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 are proliferating in journalistic outlets and on social media.

The 1918 flu pandemic, thought to be the deadliest in human history, killed at least 50 million people worldwide (the equivalent of 200 million today), with half a million of those in the United States. It spread to every part of the world, affecting populations in Japan, Argentina, Germany and dozens of other countries.

In 1918, the world was a very different place, even without the disruptive influence of World War I. Doctors knew viruses existed but had never seen one — there were no electron microscopes, and the genetic material of viruses had not yet been discovered. Today, however, researchers not only know how to isolate a virus but can find its genetic sequence, test antiviral drugs and develop a vaccine.

In 1918, it was impossible to test people with mild symptoms so they could self-quarantine. And it was nearly impossible to do contact tracing because the flu seemed to infect — and panic — entire cities and communities all at once. Moreover, there was little protective equipment for health care workers, and the supportive care with respirators that can be provided to people very ill with coronavirus did not exist.

With a case fatality rate of at least 2.5%, the 1918 flu was far more deadly than ordinary flu, and it was so infectious that it spread widely, which meant the number of deaths soared.

Researchers believe the 1918 flu spared older people because they had some immunity to it.

The new coronavirus tends to kill older people and those with underlying medical conditions, and it does not seem to kill children.

 

 

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