Current Affairs in Short: 30 June 2020
A new Chinese study has warned of a possible new 'pandemic virus' from pigs. The new flu virus was detected in Chinese pigs recently.
Chinese study warns of possible new pandemic virus
• A new Chinese study has warned of a possible new 'pandemic virus' from pigs. The new flu virus was detected in Chinese pigs recently. The virus has become more infectious to humans and needs to be watched closely in case it becomes a potential “pandemic virus”, as per the study.
• A team of Chinese researchers studied the influenza viruses found in pigs from 2011 to 2018 and found a “G4” strain of H1N1 that has all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus. The study was published by the US journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
• The pig farm workers also showed elevated levels of the virus in their blood, the study noted, adding that close monitoring of human population especially of those people working in the swine industry needs to be implemented urgently.
• The new virus is a recombination of the 2009 H1N1 variant and a once prevalent strain found in pigs.
Third round of India-China talks underway in Ladakh's Chushul
• The Corps Commander-level meeting between armies of India and China was held at the Indian side of Chushul border post on June 30, 2020 to resolve the ongoing dispute over Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh area.
• This is the third round of Corps Commander-level talks being held on the issue. The first two rounds had taken place in Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC.
• During the second round of Corps Commander-level talks held on June 22, both sides had mutually agreed to disengage in the Eastern Ladakh sector.
• The military commanders from both sides had met initially on June 6 and had agreed to disengage at multiple locations.
India holds consultations with France, Germany
• India held wide-ranging consultations with world powers including France and Germany on various subjects amid rising border tensions with China.
• Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla held video consultations with Secretary General, MFA of France on June 29. During the conversation, France expressed keenness on working with India in the Indo-Pacific, especially the western Indian ocean.
• India also held discussion with another major partner Germany last week. Both France and Germany expressed the desire to work with India on G20 related issues. India will assume the presidency of G20 in 2022.
• Both Germany and France in recent discussions with India have also shown interest in greater economic cooperation including enhanced investments, supply chains and partnerships in ICT and technology domains.
Maharashtra requests Railways to allow bank, court employees to travel via locals trains
• The Maharashtra government has requested the Railways to allow employees of high courts, public sector banks and various central government offices to travel by local trains. The final decision for the same will be taken by Railways.
• Maharashtra is the worst-hit state with regard to coronavirus with 1,69,883 confirmed cases including 73,313 active cases, 88,960 cured patients and 7,610 fatalities.
• India’s total coronavirus total stands at 5,66,840 with a spike of 18,522 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.
UN warns of intense fighting in Myanmar’s Rakhine state
• The United Nations has called for ‘urgent measures to spare civilians’ in Rakhine state amid a military crackdown on Arakan Army announced by the government.
• The UN expressed concerns over reports of intensified fighting in the Rakhine state’s Rathedaung township. The UN has called upon both the parties, the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army to respect international humanitarian law and reiterated the need for ceasefire amid the COVID 19 pandemic in the world.
• The British, US and Canadian embassies in Myanmar also issued a joint statement on June 27 expressing concern over the reports of ‘clearance operations’ by Myanmar military in the Kyauktan village tract.
• The UN calls comes days after the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution on June 23, 2020 directing Myanmar to create conditions that will ensure a safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya Muslims.