6 Apr 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

6th April 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

 
TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
HEALTH
1. Rapid antibody testing for hotspots first: ICMR
2. The mystery of low German COVID-19 fatality rates
GOVERNMENT SCHEMES
1. Tests, treatment free under Ayushman Bharat
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Empowered group joins forces with private sector, UN & NGOs
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Reducing farm distress during a pandemic
AGRICULTURE
1. Empowered group joins forces with private sector, UN & NGOs
F. Prelims Facts
1. India bans export of hydroxychloroquine
G. Tidbits
1. Anganwadi workers get online sessions on COVID-19 steps
2. Punjab villages self-isolate to fight COVID-19
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. The mystery of low German COVID-19 fatality rates

Context:

  • Germany’s low COVID-19 fatality rates.

Background:

  • The virus and the resulting disease, COVID-19, have hit Germany hard with more than 92,000 infections. But with 1,295 deaths, Germany’s fatality rate stood at 1.4% compared with 12% in Italy and around 10% in Spain, France and Britain.

Factors for low fatality rate in Germany:

  • The reasons for Germany’s low death rate can be broadly divided into the following factors:

Statistical factors:

  • The average age of those infected is lower in Germany than in many other countries. The average age of contracting the disease in Germany remains relatively low, at 49. In France, it is 62.5, and in Italy 62, according to their latest national reports.
  • Germany has been testing far more people than most nations. That means it is able to identify more people with few or no symptoms, increasing the number of known cases but not the number of fatalities. Germany is conducting around 3,50,000 corona virus tests a week.

Higher level of engagement:

  • There has been a high level of engagement and a commitment of public resources. Proactive testing has ensured that the health system has been able to identify people with milder symptoms and suggest hospitalization before they get into a steep decline of health and this has resulted in lower fatalities.

Medical interventions:

  • There are also significant medical factors which have aided the low fatality rates. All across Germany, hospitals have expanded their intensive care capacities. The per capita intensive care beds equipped with ventilators stands at 34 per 1,00,000 people, much higher than Italy or Spain.
  • Early and widespread testing has allowed authorities to slow the spread of the pandemic by isolating known cases while they are infectious. This helped limit the surge impact on the health care facilities allowing ample medical attention to the infected patients.

People’s role:

  • Given the high level of trust in the government, there was strict observation of social distancing guidelines, indicating the critical role of the people in the fight against the pandemic.

Category: GOVERNMENT SCHEMES

1. Tests, treatment free under Ayushman Bharat

Context:

  • The Central government has decided to provide free testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.

Details:

  • The announcement comes in the backdrop of increasing number of cases in India.
  • Under this scheme, beneficiaries will be able to get free services in designated private hospitals across India under ICMR guidelines.
    • The empanelled hospitals can use their own authorized testing facilities or tie up with an authorized testing facility for the scheme. These tests would be carried out as per the protocol set by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
    • Similarly, treatment of COVID-19 by private hospitals will be covered under AB-PMJAY.
  • States are in the process of enlisting private sector hospitals that could be converted into COVID-19 only hospitals.

Significance:

Augment availability of facilities:

  • The decision will help increase the supply of testing and treatment facilities and increase access by increasing the private sector participation through AB-PMJAY scheme.
  • This will help involve the private sector as a key partner and stakeholder in the fight against COVID-19. It will help expand health system’s capacities by including private sector hospitals and labs.

Ensure health security to a large section of population:

  • This move of the central government will benefit more than 50 crore Ayushman beneficiaries across India to get free testing and treatment in designated private hospitals across India.
  • This would allow beneficiaries to get timely and standard treatment.
  • This will help mitigate the adverse impact of the COVID-19 on the poor.

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Empowered group joins forces with private sector, UN & NGOs

Context:

  • The formation of an empowered group under the CEO of the NITI Aayog.

Details:

  • The empowered group, chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, would undertake discussions with the private sector and international organizations on actions planned and challenges faced in dealing with COVID-19.
  • The empowered group has already had several rounds of meetings with U.N. agencies, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bankcivil society organizations and development partners, and industry associations.

Talks with Industries:

  • The discussions are based on the participant’s contribution to the response, their plans for the future and the issues they are facing. This would also help the state gauge their expectations from the government.
  • The committee has opened up cross-sectoral dialogue within the private sector and start-ups to initiate collaboration among them to produce health equipment and PPEs.

Civil society’s role:

  • There has also been the reach out to over 92,000 NGOs/civil society organisations, appealing to them to assist the government.
  • They have been asked to help identify hotspots, depute volunteers and care givers to deliver services to the vulnerable groups and create awareness about prevention and combat stigma. They have also been requested to provide shelter to the homeless, daily wage workers and urban poor families and set up community kitchens for migrants.

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