Daily GK Update: 24th March 2020

Covid-19 causing severe damage, this recession may be worse than 2009: IMF

  • The world economy is facing “severe” economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic that could be even more costly than in 2009 and will require an unprecedented response, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said Monday.
  • In comments to finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations, Georgieva called on advanced economies to provide more support to low income countries, and the IMF stands “ready to deploy all our $1 trillion lending capacity.”
  • As much of the world faces mass shutdowns, Georgieva warned the outlook for global growth in 2020 “is negative — a recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or worse.

Source: Business Standard

WHO launches global megatrial of the four most promising coronavirus treatments

Thailand joins the WHO “Solidarity Trial”: global testing of ...

  • A drug combo already used against HIV. A malaria treatment first tested during World War II. A new antiviral whose promise against Ebola fizzled last year.
  • Could any of these drugs hold the key to saving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients from serious harm or death? On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a large global trial, called SOLIDARITY, to find out whether any can treat infections with the new coronavirus for the dangerous respiratory disease. It’s an unprecedented effort—an all-out, coordinated push to collect robust scientific data rapidly during a pandemic.
  • The study, which could include many thousands of patients in dozens of countries, has been designed to be as simple as possible so that even hospitals overwhelmed by an onslaught of COVID-19 patients can participate.

Source: Science Mag

Hantavirus appears in China amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Hantavirus not major threat: Expert

  • While worldwide coronavirus continues to impact millions of lives, reports of a new fatal virus in China has peaked everyone’s worries. The first fatal case of Hantavirus was reported in China’s Yunnan Province on March 23, 2020 when a man tested positive for it and passed away shortly afterward.
  • Hantavirus symptoms are known to be similar to Covid-19 infection. The infected individual died on a chartered bus, the other passengers of the bus were also tested for the virus. This news became viral after thousands of people took to social media to tweet about it.

Source: Jagran Josh

Invest India Business Immunity Platform launched to helping businesses withstand COVID-19

Invest India Business Immunity Platform launched to helping ...

  • Invest India, India’s national Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched The Invest India Business Immunity Platform.
  • The platform, hosted on the Invest India website, is designed as a comprehensive resource to help businesses and investors get real-time updates on India’s active response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
  • This dynamic and constantly updating platform keeps a regular track on developments with respect to the virus, provides latest information on various central and state government initiatives, gives access to special provisions, and answers and resolves queries through emails and on WhatsApp.
  • The Business Immunity Platform (BIP) is the active platform for business issue redressal, operating 24/7, with a team of dedicated sector experts and responding to queries at the earliest. Invest India has also announced a partnership with SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) for responding and resolving queries for MSMEs.

Source: Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Covid-19: Govt directs states to transfer cash to construction workers

Coronavirus | Labour Minister asks CMs to release construction ...

  • In a first major step for the unorganised sector to tide over the COVID-19 pandemic during lockdown, the central government on Tuesday directed states to transfer cash into the bank accounts of construction workers from the unutilised welfare funds earmarked for them.
  • Additionally, to provide relief to employers, the government also extended the last date for filing returns under eight labour laws and 10 central rules for 2019 till April 30.
  • The central government will not initiate legal action against establishments if they failed to file returns till February-end due to the pandemic, stated the March 20 letter by the chief central labour commissioner.

Source: Business Standard

Finance Minister on COVID-19: Tax Filings extended, ATM, bank charges waived off

Nirmala Sitharaman: Tax filing dates extended, business rules ...

  • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures for extension of statutory and regulatory compliances in view of the coronavirus pandemic spreading its wings and impacting the economy.
  • Allaying fears that there is no economic emergency in the country, FM said that the Economic Task Force will soon announce an economic relief package to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

Source: The Economic Times

Omar Abdullah to be released from detention after 7 months, orders J&K govt

Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah released

  • The Jammu and Kashmir administration has ordered former CM Omar Abdullah to be freed from detention after seven months. Two weeks ago his father Farooq Abdullah was also released from detention.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir government has issued an order to release Omar Abdullah who was kept in detention since August 5 when the Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.
  • Omar Abdullah was booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). According to PTI, officials have said PSA against Omar Abdullah will also be revoked.
  • Omar Abdullah has spent 232 days in custody since the government announced abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state last year.

Source: India Today