Current and corporate affairs : 24 august 2020


  1. Country will have vaccine against Coronavirus byend of this year: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan: -Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that the country will have a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus by the end of this year. He told reporters that one of the three Covid19 vaccine candidates has entered the third phase of the preclinical human trial. Head of national task force on Covid-19, Dr VK Paul said, the vaccine candidate entering the third phase has yielded encouraging results in the initial phases of its trial. Dr Paul said that the other two vaccines are currently in Phase-I or II of their pre-clinical trials.
  2. India’s COVID tally crosses 30-lakh mark: – India’s COVID tally has crossed the 30-lakh mark after the country reported 69,239 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s death toll rose by 912 to 56,706. Of the overall tally of 30,44,940, India now has 7,0 7,668 active cases while more than 22 lakh 80 thousand people have recovered. Health Ministry said, the recovery rate from COVID-19 has improved further and now it
    has reached 74.9 per cent today. During the last 24 hours, 57, 989 Covid patients have recovered. The case fatality rate also continues to show steady decline and now stands at 1.86 per cent.


  1. Centre asks States and UTs to include all eligible disabled persons under National Food Security Act: – The Centre has written to State Governments and UTs to include all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act, NFSA 2013.The Department of Food and Public Distribution has advised all States and UTs to ensure that all disabled persons, who are eligible as per identification criteria of beneficiaries under NFSA, are covered under the National Food Security Act and they get their entitled quota of food grains under NFSA and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana as per provisions of the Act. Those not covered should be covered with fresh ration cards to be issued as per the eligibility criteria. The Department reiterated that disability is one of the criteria for inclusion of beneficiaries under Antyodaya Anna Yojana households as disabled persons are a vulnerable section of the society. The letter further advised that it is imperative that they are also
    covered by States and UTs under the priority households as per the criteria of identification evolved by them.
  2. SOP released for resumption of film and TV shootings amid COVID pandemic: – Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today released Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for film and TV programme shooting amid COVID pandemic. Mr Javadekar said the Film and TV industry is an important industry and the SOP has been issued
    after consultations with the Home Ministry and Health Ministry. He said that shooting and production for TV and films can now begin. He said many parts of the country have seen complete closure of this segment of industry and few states have allowed partial shooting but today the government is laying SOP as per the international experience. Contact Minimisation’ is at the core of, the SOP. This will be ensured by minimal physical contact and sharing of props. Make-up artists and hair stylists must use PPEs. Persons handling shared equipment must wear gloves. Lapel mics are to be avoided and never shared. There must be six feet physical distancing at shoot locations, recording studios and editing rooms. Scenes, sequences, camera locations, crew position, seating, should follow distancing. There should be a minimum cast and crew during shoot and visitors and audience will not be allowed on sets. Coordination with local authorities must be done to manage spectators during outdoor shoots. Staggered call and pack up timings must be followed for different production units at studios with multiple sets. There must be designated entry and exit points for shoot locations. Regular sanitisation of sets, make-up rooms, vanity vans, and washrooms must be ensured. Higher risk employees should take extra precautions and preferably not be exposed to frontline work requiring contact with the public. Using face masks is mandatory at all public and work places. Frequent handwashing is to be practiced, and there must be provision of hand sanitiser at entry and in work areas. Spitting is strictly prohibited and respiratory etiquette should be followed. Thermal screening will be done at, all entry points and only asymptomatic persons would be allowed on premises.
  3. Home Ministry issues SOP for international travel on non-scheduled commercial flights: – The Home Ministry has issued Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for international travel on non-scheduled commercial flights under the Vande Bharat Scheme and Air Transport Bubble arrangement. The SOP states that persons wanting to travel to India on the Vande Bharat flights will register themselves with the Indian missions in the country where they are stranded or residing, along with necessary details as prescribed by the External Affairs Ministry. Such
    registration may not be required on flights operating under Air Transport Bubbles arrangement. Persons will travel to India by
    non scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Civil Aviation Ministry, and ships as allowed by Department of Military Affairs or Shipping Ministry. Priority will be given to compelling cases. The cost of travel, as specified by the carrier, will be borne by the travellers.


  1. NHRC issues notice to UP Govt. over reported death of 5-yr old girl due to starvation, illness in Agra:- National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has issued notice to Uttar Pradesh Government over the reported death of a five-year old girl due to starvation and illness in Agra. Taking suo motu cognizance of a media report, the Commission issued a notice to the Chief Secretary of the State in this regard. The Commission called for detailed reports within four weeks including the relief and rehabilitation provided to the family by the administration and the action taken against the delinquent officials.


  1. California Wildfires: US President Donald Trump issues major disaster declaration to provide federal assistance: – Weary firefighters in California raced on Saturday to slow the spread of wildfires that burned nearly one million acres statewide in a week and destroyed hundreds of homes ahead an expected weather change that could bring more lightning strikes like the ones that sparked many of the blazes. Responding to the emergency, President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration to provide federal assistance.