Daily Current Affairs & General Studies For UPSC Prelims & Mains (July 8): The Virus And The Lockdown

The Virus And The Lockdown

If instead of counting COVID infections, which have a large margin of error, we look at COVID-deaths, and if we correct for population size (as indeed we should), all countries in Africa and Asia, including India and China, come out much better. But within this region, India’s performance is notably bad. In terms of COVID deaths per million population, that is, the Crude Mortality Rate, India is doing worse than China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Malaysia and many other nations, including most of Africa.

  • How did this happen when India was one of the first emerging economies to announce the lockdown?
  • There is an open question about how much economic loss a nation should take in order to slow down the pandemic.

The lockdown, announced on March 24, far from controlling the spread of the pandemic, seems to have made it worse. Two weeks after the start of the lockdown, the infection rate picked up and it has been on an alarming upward climb since then.

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Why did this happen?

In most countries, after the lockdown announcement, minimal transportation was kept open, letting people go home. In India, for weeks there was no sign of any effort to handle the problem of migrant workers, huddled and hungry, far away from home.

The way in which the lockdown was executed, the lockdown itself became the source of the virus’s spread. By having people huddle together, infecting one another, and then having the same people travel hundreds of miles, the pandemic has been made much worse than it need have been.

Source: The Indian Express (The way in which it was executed, India’s lockdown itself became source of virus’s spread)

Mid Day Mal Scheme

Tamil Nadu was the first state to introduce the MDM scheme in the 1960s. The Central scheme to provide meals to school children began in 1995. However, initially, most states got away by providing dry rations. It took a Supreme Court order of 2001 for all states to introduce cooked meals. The order also specified that the meals should provide children with “at least 300 calories and 8-12 grams of protein each day of school for a minimum of 200 days in a year”. Since then, a large body of scholarly work has shown how hot, cooked food attracted students to schools and improved their nutritional status.

The pandemic has led to widespread economic distress. In such times, the need to strengthen food security programmes cannot be overstated, especially in Bihar — amongst the worst performers on child nutrition.

Source: Indian Express Edit(Crisis of the future)

Golden Birdwing

  • A Himalayan butterfly named golden birdwing is now India’s largest, a record the southern birdwing held for 88 years.
  • With a wingspan of 194 mm, the female of the species is marginally larger than the southern birdwing (190 mm) that Brigadier William Harry Evans, a British military officer and lepidopterist, recorded in 1932. But the male golden birdwing (Troides aeacus) is much smaller at 106 mm.
  • The new measurements of this and 24 other species of butterflies were published in the latest issue of Bionotes, a quarterly newsletter for research on life forms.
  • While the female golden birdwing was recorded from Didihat in Uttarakhand, the largest male was from the Wankhar Butterfly Museum in Shillong.
  • The smallest is the quaker (Neopithecops zalmora) with a wingspan of 18 mm and forewing length of a mere 8 mm.

Source: The Hindu

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