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News in Short

News in Short - 06-May-2020

COVID-19 may never have a vaccine

Date: 06 May 2020 Tags: Biotechnology
  • Leading health experts have raised alarming questions about what if the world never sees a Covid-19 vaccine, as in the case of HIV and even dengue where there is no vaccine even after years of research.
  • Currently, a vaccine candidate for Covid-19 was identified by researchers from the Oxford Vaccine Group and Oxford's Jenner Institute. The potential upcoming vaccine, ChAdOx1nCoV-19, is based on an adenovirus vaccine vector and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
  • What probably separates ChAdOx1 - known as recombinant viral vector vaccine - from the rest is the time it has promised to take in order to deliver mass quantities.

DRDO develops UV disinfectant tower

Date: 06 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Ultra Violet (UV) disinfection tower for rapid and chemical-free disinfection of COVID-19 infection prone areas.
  • The equipment named UV Blaster is a UV-based area sanitizer designed and developed by Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC).
  • The UV Blaster is useful for surfaces like electronic equipments, computers and other gadgets in laboratories and offices that are not suitable for disinfecting with chemical methods.
  • The product is also effective for areas with large flow of people such as airports, shopping malls, metros, hotels, factories, offices, etc.
  • The UV-based area sanitiser may be used by remote operation through laptop/mobile phone using WiFi link. This sanitiser switches off on accidental opening of room or human intervention. One more salient safety feature of the product is the key to arm operation.

Maharashtra freezes all development spend for a year

Date: 06 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Maharashtra, the state worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, declared a freeze on new capital works till March next year.
  • The state, whose Budget size is the second biggest after Uttar Pradesh, imposed a 67 per cent cut in development (scheme) spend for 2020-21.
  • Barring procurements of infrastructure and items required for combating the pandemic, the state has ordered departments to withhold tenders for new purchases and approvals for new development works.

Trump nominates Indian-American as representative to IBRD

Date: 06 May 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • US President Donald Trump has nominated Indian-American lawyer Ashok Michael Pinto as a representative to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank's lending arm.
  • Pinto, who has worked as a Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to former president George W Bush, was nominated as US Alternate Executive Director of IBRD for a term of two years.
  • Pinto currently serves as Counsellor to the Under Secretary for International Affairs at the United States Department of the Treasury.

Sudan appoints ambassador to US in decades

Date: 06 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Sudan has appointed its first ambassador to the United States for almost a quarter of a century, in a move to normalize relations after decades of antagonism.
  • Both countries pledged to improve ties after the fall of veteran Islamist ruler Omar al-Bashir in an uprising a year ago.
  • Both countries had for almost a quarter of century appointed only charge d'affaires, a diplomatic rank under an ambassador, to run their embassies in Washington and Khartoum.