PIB NEWS 01st April 2020

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1)J&K sets up PMRU of NPPA:- Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory has become 12th State  today where the Price Monitoring & Resource Unit (PMRU) has been set up by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).

What is PMRU: –The PMRU, a registered society, shall function under the direct control and supervision of State Drug Controller of Jammu & Kashmir.  The unit shall be funded by  NPPA for its recurring and non-recurring expenses.  The PMRU shall help NPPA and State Drug Controller in ensuring availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices. It is also expected to organise seminars, training programs and other information, education and communication (IEC) activities in the areas of availability and affordability of medicines for all.

What is DPCO 2013? The DPCO is an order that was issued by the GoI under Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The order provides details to fix the prices of the drugs, procedures to increase or decrease prices, penalties for defying the order, etc. The Order empowered the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) to fix the threshold prices of drugs. The NPPA is allowed to fix prices only on those drugs that are listed under National List of Essential Medicines.

2)What do we know and what do we need to know about Novel Coronavirus:- 

Infection: The virus infects the epithelial cells in the throat and lungs. SARS-CoV-2 binds to the ACE2 receptors on human cells, which are often found mostly in throats and lungs. Virus on your skin, lacking ACE2 expression, will be harmless. The virus enters through the by nasal passage, eyes and mouth. Our hands are the main instruments that take the virus to reach our mouth, nose and eyes. Washing hands with soap water for 20 seconds as often as possible helps prevent the infection.

Who can infect: Anyone infected with the virus can infect even before the symptoms appear. Most carriers do not even show signs. Covering our mouth and nose when we cough or sneeze will help reduce the infection. The virus is present in the saliva, sputum and faeces of the infected person for the whole infectious period.

How we infect: Transmission is mostly via droplets. This requires relatively close contact, less than 6 feet. This is why it is recommended that we stay 1.5 metres away from each other in public places such as the vegetable market or supermarket. A study done in Hong Kong shows that social distancing can reduce the spread by 44%.  Inanimate vector of disease, in particular phones, doorknobs, surfaces are a potential source for transmission, but not much is known about it. It is safe sanitise out hands after touching doorknobs, lift call buttons and counters in public places.

How many we infect:  The average number of new infections caused by a typical infectious person, that is human transmissibility range (R0) is between 2.2 to 3.1. In simple word, one infected individual on the average infects about 2.2 to 3.1 persons.  By physical distancing, we can artificially reduce the actual transmissibility, thus slow the rate of infection.

Where did the virus come from: It is not from eating bat soup. Once you boil, the virus is decimated. Initially, it was speculated that the SARS-CoV-2 virus jumped from bat to humans. But recent genomes study show first it must have leapt from bat to an intermediary species before it latched on to humans. Another study indicates that a lineage of SARS-CoV-2 virus was circulating in humans before the disease outbreak.

Can it infect animals: The molecular modelling suggests that SARS-CoV-2 can affect besides human, bat, civet, monkey and swine cells. Does not infect domestic animals or livestock. Consuming eggs or poultry will not result in SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Can one be infected twice: Once we get measles, most of us acquire life long immunity. We hardly get measles again. Experimentally infected macaques were not capable of being reinfected. Likewise, there is no evidence of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 after recovery in humans. However, how long the immunity will last is unknown.

How severe is the illness: COVID-19 is not a death sentence. The majority of COVID-19 cases are mild (81%), About 15% need hospitalisation and 5% require critical care. That is the vast majority of the infected will not even need hospitalisation.

Who are the most vulnerable: Healthcare workers are most susceptible. About 20% of healthcare workers in Lombardy, Italy becoming infected while providing medical care to patients.
Among the general public, aged, in particular above 60 years of age and people with prior cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory conditions have a higher risk.

Will it spread through the air: In the air, the virus can survive only up to 2.7 hours. Therefore being in open spaces such as a balcony, the terrace is no harm.

Is there a less virulent strain: While many strains are being identified, studies so far have not indicated any mutations that are linked to any changes in transmission or disease severity.

3)DARPG: National Monitoring Dashboard launched:- Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievances Dr Jitendra Singh launched the National Monitoring Dashboard on COVID-19. The dashboard is to be developed and implemented by DARPG (Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances). The main objective of the dashboard is quick and timely implementations of COVID-19 response and containment activities.

4)National Book Trust:-  The National Book Trust was established in 1957. It currently operates under Ministry of Human Resource Development. NBT recently launched Stay Home India with Books initiative.

5)April 2: World Autism Awareness Day :– Every year, the World Autism Awareness Day is observed on April 2 by the members of United Nations. The day is observed to take measures to increase awareness about Autism Disorder.

Theme: The Transition to Adulthood

Autism is a developmental disorder. People with autism face difficulties in social interaction and communication. The related signs shall be noticed in the first three years of the child’s life.

6)United Nations announced that the Conference of Parties (COP 26) that was to be held in Glasgow in November 2020 has been pushed to 2021.

Delaying the talks has induced fear of easing governments over the targets set by the Paris agreement.


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