Current Affairs in Short: 19 June 2020
WHO is hopeful that COVID-19 vaccines could be available before the end of this year.
WHO hopeful COVID-19 vaccines could be available before 2020 end
• World Health Organisation's chief scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan has said that WHO is hopeful that COVID-19 vaccines could be available before the end of this year.
• She revealed there are about 10 candidates that are currently in the human testing phase and at least three of them are entering the new promising phase-three stage that proves a vaccine's efficacy.
• Swaminathan expressed hope that there will be one or two successful candidates before the end of this year.
• The chief scientist said that the agency hopes there will be about two billion doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of next year that would be reserved for priority populations.
Maharashtra launches new portal for job seekers
• Maharashtra Government has launched a new portal for those people who are in search of Jobs and also those entrepreneurs who are in search of a skilled workforce.
• The portal is expected to offer many job opportunities to the unemployed youth and work as an online employment exchange.
• The portal will provide the unemployed youth in the state with all the required information about various jobs in various sectors. The portal can be accessed at www.mahaswayam.gov.in.
• The website will provide information regarding vacant posts in not only government organizations but also private sector. All job seekers will have to register themselves on the portal and submit their educational and professional qualification.
Kenya defeats Djibouti to secure non-permanent seat at UN Security Council
• Kenya defeated Djibouti to win the last African seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on June 18, 2020 after the UN General Assembly (UNGA) failed to choose between the two candidates during the first round.
• Kenya won 129 votes, while Djibouti won 62 votes. Kenya will now join Tunisia and Niger in the UN Security Council for two years 2021-2022.
• The first vote was held on June 17 but both nations had failed to win majority votes, forcing a second round of voting.
• Kenya will now join India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway as the five new non-permanent members of the UN Security Council starting from January 2021.
CSIR gets approval for Phase III trial of antiviral drug Umifenovir
• The CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) Lucknow has received permission to carry out the Phase III trial of antiviral drug Umifenovir. The announcement was made by Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on January 19, 2020.
• Phase III clinical trials will be carried out at King George's Medical University (KGMU), ERA's Lucknow Medical College and Hospital and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS).
• The Umifenovir drug prevents the entry of the virus into human cells and also acts by priming the immune system.
Earthquake with 7.4 magnitude strikes New Zealand's coast
• An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 on the Richter scale struck the coast of Gisborne in the northeastern part of New Zealand on June 19, 2020.
• The epicentre of the earthquake was 33 km deep, about 700 km northeast of Gisborne. Strong tremors were felt across the east coast of North Island in New Zealand.
• However, no damage was reported. The National Emergency Management Agency also announced that there is no tsunami threat to the nation following the earthquake.