9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 29th, 2020

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We are posting Todays 9pm Current Affair Brief

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Explained: How antibody test for COVID-19 is different from PCR test

News: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has sought price quotes for the supply of 10 lakh antibody kits (serological test) for diagnosis of COVID-19.


  • Two types of tests for viral infections: Genetic and serological
  • Genetic test: It is conducted on a swab collected from the back of the throat, a liquid sample from the lower respiratory tract, or a simple saliva sample.
  • Serological Test: It is a blood test to detect the presence of antibodies against a microorganism.
  • Advantage of Serological Test over Genetic Test:. Serological tests help detect and trace past infections while genetic tests can only identify infections that are active. They are relatively cheaper than genetic tests.

Additional Facts:

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):

  • It is the apex and premier medical research organization in India. 
  • Function: planning, formulation, coordination, implementation and promotion of biomedical research.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Hydroxychloroquine now a schedule H1 drug

News: The government has notified hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, under Schedule-H1 to regulate and restrict the sale and distribution of the drug.


Classification of Drugs in India: The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, provides for classification of drugs into different schedules.

Schedule H1
  • Aims to check to check the indiscriminate use of antibiotics, anti-TB and some other drugs.
  • Cannot be sold without a valid prescription.
  • Package of the drugs has mandatory warning printed in a box with a red colour border.
Schedule H
  • Cannot be sold without a valid prescription.
  • Labels of any Schedule H drug must display the text “Rx” on the top left corner of the label
Schedule X
  • Labels of any Schedule X drug must display the text “XRx” on the top left corner of the label.
  • Includes narcotic and psychotropic substances-based drugs.
  • Cannot be sold without a valid prescription.
  • Drug retailer has to preserve the copy of prescription for two years

PM’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF)

News: The Railway Board has appealed to its employees to voluntarily donate a day’s salary towards the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to support the fight against the novel coronavirus.


    • Established in: 1948
    • Used for: immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, etc. and to the victims of the major accidents and riots
    • Headed by: Prime Minister
    • Administration: Administered on an Honorary basis by Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister as Secretary of the fund.
  • Features:
    • Consists entirely of public contributions and does not get any budgetary support.
    • Recognized as a Trust under the Income Tax Act
    • Exempt under the Income Tax Act, 1961 under Section 10 and 139 for return purposes.

Zoonotic Diseases

News: Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been emergence and outbreaks of multiple zoonotic diseases.


Definition: Type of disease that passes from an animal or insect to a human.

  • Host: Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family 
  • transmitted to humans from animals (such as bats or pigs), or contaminated foods and transmitted directly from human-to-human.
  • transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes.
  •  infected people can transmit Zika through transfer of body fluids including sexual intercourse
  • 6 species of Ebola Virus identified till date: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Taï Forest, Reston and Bombali.
  • Host:fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family
  • Transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission
Avian/Bird Flu
  • caused by H5N1 virus, a subtype of the influenza A virus. 
  • Human infections occur through infected bird-to-human contact or contact with surfaces and objects contaminated by their droppings.
  • Human-human transmission is limited
Swine Flu
  • Caused by H1N1 virus 
  • occur in people with direct exposure to pigs
  • spread from person to person, similar to seasonal influenza viruses.
Kyasanur forest disease
  • caused by Kyasanur Forest disease Virus(KFDV), a member of the virus family Flaviviridae
  • Host: Rodents, shrews and monkeys after being bitten by an infected tick.
  • Transmission to humans occur after a tick bite or contact with an infected animal
  • caused by Ribonucleic Acid(RNA) virus that is present in the saliva of a rabid animal.
  • Transmitted to humans following a bite of a rabid animal
West Nile Virus
  • caused by the West Nile Virus
  • Natural Host: Birds
  • Transmits to humans through bites from infected Culex mosquitoes
  • caused by monkeypox virus
  • transmitted to people from wild animals such as rodents and primates
  • Human-to human transmission caused by contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials
  • Caused by Dengue virus belonging to the genus Flavivirus of the family Flaviviridae
  • Transmitted to humans by bite of an infected female Aedes Aegypti mosquito
  • caused by Plasmodium parasites 
  • transmitted to humans through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • family of viruses which are spread mainly by rodents
  • does not spread from one person to another
  • can be contracted if someone comes in contact with a rodent that carries the virus.


News:Prime Minister has announced the constitution of the PM’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations(PM-CARES) fund.


  • PM-CARES: It is a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Chairman: Prime Minister
  • Members: Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.
  • Exemption: The donations to this fund will be exempted from income tax under section 80(G).

Cantonment Board

News: Cantonment Boards from all over the country have taken various steps to control the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.


  • Cantonment Board:It is established for municipal administration for the civilian population in the cantonment area.lt is set up under the provisions of the Cantonments Act of 2006.
  • Nodal Ministry: It works under the administrative control of the Defence Ministry of the Central Government.
  • Functions: It performs similar functions to those of a municipality. 
  • Composition: It consists of partly elected and partly nominated members.The elected members hold office for a term of five years while the nominated members continue so long as they hold the office in that station. 
  • President: The military officer commanding the station is the ex-oticio president of the board and presides over its meetings.

Trusted News Initiative

News: The Trusted News Initiative has decided to extend its efforts in identifying false and potentially harmful information on the coronavirus pandemic.


  • The Trusted News Initiative was announced by BBC in 2019. It comprises a number of major news and tech organisations from all around the world.
  • Aim: To protect the people against the disinformation and fake news especially during the time of elections.

Tribal Lockdown Rituals

News:Tribes in Arunachal Pradesh have revived indigenous lockdown rituals to contain the spread of COVID-19.


Galos Tribe:

  • It is one of the 26 major Scheduled tribes of Arunachal Pradesh that dominate West Siang district.
  • It practices the Arr-Rinam ritual which imposes lockdown for 48 hours whenever an epidemic strikes.

Adi Tribe:

  • The Adi tribe is believed to have come from southern China in the 16th century.They are the Tibeto-Burman language speaking population.
  • They performed a ritual called the motor or pator system where the locals lock down villages by erecting barricades to prevent the entry of outsiders.

Nyishi Tribe:

  • Nyishi is a single largest Scheduled Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.They speak Tibeto-Burman language.
  • They observe rituals such as Arrue(Self Quarantine), Khyasang-Ratar and Merii for preventing the entry of an epidemic to a village.

COVID-19 National Teleconsultation Centre (CoNTeC)

News:The Union Minister of Health has launched the COVID-19 National Teleconsultation Centre(CoNTeC).


  • CoNTeC has been conceptualised by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and has been implemented by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
  • Aim: It is a Telemedicine Hub to connect the doctors across the country to AIIMS in real-time for treatment of the COVID-19 patients.


News:The International Monetary Fund(IMF) has said that the world has entered into a global recession due to the coronavirus crisis.


  • A recession is a period when economic activities are in a general decline typically accompanied by unemployment, falling income and consumer spending.
  • To overcome recession, countries generally react by loosening their monetary policies by infusing more money into the system i.e by increasing the money supply.
  • The Financial crisis of 2008 is the most recent example of a recession.

Additional Facts:

  • Depression:It is a deep and long-lasting recession that lasts for many years.During this period, the decline in GDP exceeds 10% and an unemployment rate that touches 25%.


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