Current Affairs in Short: 20 November 2020
Pfizer has sought emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in the US and it is looking to start the process in December.
CAG Murmu elected as External Auditor of Inter Parliamentary Union in Geneva
•Comptroller & Auditor General of India Girish Chandra Murmu has been elected as theExternal Auditor of Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU)Geneva for three years.
•GC Murmu will take charge of this position from Supreme Audit Institution of Switzerland. The election took place at the virtual meeting of IPU’s 284th session, which is a 179 countries Parliamentarians body. The IPU also has 13 Associate Members.
•The IPU also has a permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly. The IPU is a global inter-parliamentary institution established by France and UK in 1889.
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij administered first trial dose of Covaxin in state
•Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij has been administered a trial dose of Covaxin at a hospital in Ambala. He had offered to be the first volunteer for the phase 3 trial of Covaxin in the state. The third phase of trials began in the state on November 20, 2020.
•The Phase III trials of ICMR and Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN will involve 26,000 volunteers across India.
•This will be the largest clinical trial conducted for a COVID vaccine in India.The third phase of trials only involves adult volunteers.
Indian airlines, airports all set to handle distribution of temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines
•With many COVID-19 vaccine candidate trials reaching their final stages, Indian airlines and airports are gearing up to handle the distribution of the temperature sensitive vaccines.
•Two Indian airports- Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport and GMR Hyderabad airport's cargo are set to play a pivotal role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the country, as these airports are equipped with the state-of-the-art time and temperature-sensitive distribution system.
•The Delhi Airport has two cargo terminals with world-class infrastructure and capacity to handle over 1.5 lakh MT per annum. It also has state-of-the-art temperature-controlled zones with separate cool chambers ranging from +25 to -20 degree Celsius.
•The GMR Hyderabad airport’s cargo boasts of India's first Pharma Zone with GDP-certified temperature-controlled facility for handling temperature-sensitive cargo.
•The SpiceJet airline is also reportedly fully prepared to handle the COVID-19 vaccine.
Australia surpasses India in World Test Championship Points Table
•Australia toppled India after ICC announced new altered points system for World Test Championship on November 19, 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.
•The International Cricket Council Board changed the terms of the competition to determine how series affected by the pandemic are accounted for in the points table. The ICC board approved the changes, which were recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee, headed by former Indian Test skipper Anil Kumble.
•Based on the new points system, the World Test Championship Points table has been revised to rank teams based on the percentage of points earned from the series played.
•India was the leading the points table but under the new rules, Australia has toppled the Virat Kohli-led side as they have 82.22 per cent points while India has 75.00 per cent points. While England is placed at the third position with 60.83 per cent points, New Zealand is placed at fourth position in the table.
Pfizer seeks emergency use authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine
•Pfizer has sought emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in the US and it is looking to start the process in December.
•This comes after Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced that its vaccine appears 95 per cent effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease.
•Pfizer is now asking US regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting the process on bringing limited first shots as early as December 2020.