COVID-19 Pandemic may become ‘Endemic’ : WHO
•In simple terms, an endemic disease is “the constant presence of a disease or infectious agent within a given geographic area or population group
•When epidemics become endemic, they become “increasingly tolerated” and the responsibility of protecting against it shifts from the government to the individual.
•World Health Organization (WHO) has said that like HIV, the novel coronavirus could become endemic and “may never go away”, and urged for a “massive effort” to contain the spread of COVID-19
•Epidemic diseases typically have higher mortality and morbidity than endemic diseases, owing to lack of clinical experience and knowledge, as well as innate pathogenicity
•Some examples of endemics include the chicken pox and malaria, where there are predictable number of cases every year in certain parts of the world
How a disease is term an endemic.
• If R0 equals to 1, then the disease is endemic.[R0=1]
•When R0>1, it implies that the cases are increasing and that the disease will eventually become an epidemic
【 R0 refers to the number of people infected by a person who has the disease】
Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS)
•The Scheme aims to promote indigenous defence production, with special focus on participation of MSMEs and Start Ups by bridging gaps in defence testing infrastructure in the country.
•It will also help to provide easy access and to meet the testing needs of the domestic defence industry.
•Government has accorded high priority to development of the manufacturing base of Defence and Aerospace sectors in the country under “Make in India” initiative to reduce dependence on imports
•Defence Testing Infrastructure is capital intensive requiring continuous upgradation and it is not economically viable for individual defence industrial units to set up in-house testing facilities
【The Scheme has an outlay of Rs 400 crore for creating state of the art testing infrastructure over the duration of five years】
Injectable silk fibroin-based hydrogel ( iSFH)
•Recently, Scientists at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), have developed an injectable silk fibroin-based hydrogel (or iSFH) for sustained insulin delivery in diabetic patients.
•The injectable Silk Fibroin Hydrogel (iSFH) can ease insulin delivery in diabetic patients
[iSFH has successfully delivered active insulin in rats.]
•India is home to more than 70 million diabetes people, it is the second-highest in the world after China
Lightweight Carbon Foam
•Recently, scientists from the CSIR-Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (Bhopal) have developed the ‘lightweight carbon foam’ [which has the potential to replace lead grid in lead-acid batteries.]
•These carbon foams are non-toxic, easy to fabricate, affordable, and insoluble in water.
•It will also be cost-effective for the removal of arsenic, oil, and other metals from contaminated water.
•The raw material for the fabrication of carbon foam is easily available everywhere, and there is no requirement of any costly equipment for the fabrication of carbon foam and filtration.
[Such materials can be safely used in remote areas where power supply is scarce]
•Currently, the large-scale energy-storage sector is dominated by Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, because of their higher energy density and long cycle life.
•However, there are some concerns regarding Li-ion batteries, such as safety risk, limited resource supply, high cost, and lack of recycling infrastructure.
[As a result, lead-acid batteries are still one of the most reliable, economical, and environmentally friendly options]
International Day of Families: 15 May
•In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution that 15 May of every year should be observed as the International Day of Families
•Its objectives is to provide an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
•Theme for 2020 : “Families in Development: Copenhagen & Beijing+25”
Copenhagen & Beijing+25
•Copenhagen & Beijing+25 signifies the World Conferences on Women (WCW) organised by the United Nations
•2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women (WCW) and adoption of the Beijing Declaration (turning point for the global agenda for gender equality) and Platform for Action (1995). Hence, it is referred to as Beijing + 25.
•Also called as elephantiasis, it is Caused by infection with parasitic worms living in the lymphatic system.
•The larval stages of the parasite (microfilaria) circulate in the blood and are transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes.
•May Cause abnormal enlargement of body parts, and leading to severe disability and social stigmatization of those affected
•Lymphatic filariasis poses a grave threat to India.
•Over 40% of worldwide cases are found in India