Indian Express Explained 12/05/2020

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Explained: How will the pandemic play out? Some possible scenarios, from research :-

The bottomline: the pandemic will not leave anytime soon. Virus will not go on its own, Herd Immunity if effective will take years to develop. We dont know how much tie for vaccine is there.

US Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) has projected different scenarios regarding the future of the Pandemic in the form of various Waves of SARSCOV-2.

Waves, as a concept

Projecting several scenarios for the future of the pandemic, the CIDRAP viewpoint summarised these as shown in Figure 2.

Scenario 1: The first wave in spring 2020 is followed by a series of repetitive smaller waves through the summer, and then consistently over a 1- to 2-year period, gradually diminishing sometime in 2021.

Scenario 2: The first wave in spring 2020 is followed by a larger wave in the autumn or winter of 2020 and one or more smaller subsequent waves in 2021.

Scenario 3: The first wave in spring 2020 is followed by a “slow burn” of ongoing transmission and case occurrence, but without a clear wave pattern. This pattern may vary geographically and may be influenced by mitigation measures in place.

2)Why men more vulnerable to coronavirus: now, a link with key enzyme:- Over the pandemic, researchers have come up with various findings — and hypotheses — about why men seem to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 than women.

First We need to understand the Relation of ACE2 Enzyme and CoronaVirus:- ACE-2 responds to the novel coronavirus and enables it to infect the human cell. The new study of several thousand patients found men have higher concentrations of ACE2 in their blood than women.

Limitation of this Study :-  The study looked only at ACE2 concentrations in plasma, not in tissues such as lung tissue, so they cannot be sure that concentrations in the blood are similar to those seen in tissues. It is the ACE2 in lung tissues that are thought to be key to lung infection.

3)Explained: New reasons why masks help against Covid-19:-

Impact of masks, quantified :- A recent research in USA has recently found that if 80% Population wore masks everytime they ventured outside , would have eliminated the Pandemic from USA. Even low-quality home-made masks could lead to significant reduction in the spread of the disease, though other interventions would also be required in that case to achieve elimination.

“It will be another 12 to 18 months until mass vaccination or herd immunity finally becomes a reality. In the meanwhile, we need to start respecting the mask, change our behaviour and start getting used to this new face accessory on an immediate basis.

More masks, shorter lockdown :- It said mask usage by a large proportion of the population could help in reducing the lockdown period as well.  But the use of masks must not lead to people ignoring physical distancing rules.

Keeping droplets out :- Indian researchers from government and private institutions simulated the aerodynamic flow of particles from the mouth during coughing/sneezing (or speaking loudly) to show how masks could help in blocking airborne transmission of the virus.

Thus use of Masks should Increase.

All About CSR :-Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is generally understood in a broader sense, as a self-regulatory mechanism, whereby a business entity monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards and international norms.

Inernational Concept:- United Nation’s Industrial Development Organization(UNIDO) defines CSR in terms of the responsiveness of businesses to stakeholders’ legal, ethical, social and environmental expectations.

According to them, Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders.

CSR is the way through which a company achieves a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives (“Triple-Bottom-Line- Approach”), while at the same time addressing the expectations of shareholders and stakeholders. In this sense, UNIDO draws a distinction between CSR, which is a strategic business management concept, and charity, sponsorships or philanthropy. Even though the latter can also make a valuable contribution to society and directly enhance the reputation and brand image of the company, the concept of CSR goes beyond that, according to UNIDO.

Concept of CSR in India :- However, in India, CSR is defined to mean those philanthropic and social welfare enhancing activities specified in Schedule VII to the Companies Act, 2013, undertaken by the consistently well off companies incorporated in India under the Companies Act.

Thus, in India, CSR is more in the style of charity sponsorship or philanthropy. The magnitude of CSR is measured in terms of the expenditure incurred thereon on the specified set of activities, excluding activities undertaken in pursuance of normal course of business of a company.

India is considered as the first country to have made CSR a statutory liability for the corporate entities.

Legal backing for CSR:-Unlike many other countries wherein CSR activities are voluntary, the same is mandated by law in India.

Section 135 and Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, relates to CSR related spending by companies.

Are there Tax Exemptions:- There are no specific tax exemption/concessions to companies under the Income Tax Act, 1961 for expenditure incurred by companies towards CSR. However, spending by companies on several activities like rural development projects, skill development projects, agricultural extension projects, contribution to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund etc., which find place in Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, may qualify for tax exemptions under relevant provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961 subject to the fulfilment of any specified conditions.

Who are Covered under CSR:- As per Section 135 of Companies Act 2013, every company having net worth of Rs. 500 crore or more, or turnover of Rs. 1000 crore or more or a net profit of Rs. 5 crore or more during any financial year shall constitute a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee and shall spend in every financial year, at least 2% of the average net profits of the company made during the three immediately preceding financial years, in pursuance of its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy (as framed by the CSR committee and decided by the Company).

CSR spending is applicable to every company incorporated in India, including its holding or subsidiary, and a foreign company having its branch office or project office in India.

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