Current Affairs in Short: 23 April 2020
Lebanon has become the first Arab nation to legalise the cultivation of Marijuana.
Lebanon becomes first Arab nation to legalise Marijuana cultivation
• Lebanon has become the first Arab nation to legalise the cultivation of Marijuana. The Lebanese parliament passed the order on April 23, 2020 to boost the export of marijuana.
• The nation has legalised marijuana cultivation for industrial and medical purposes to deal with its economic crisis. As per the United Nations, Lebanon is the third-largest exporter of cannabis resin in the world, after Morocco and Afghanistan.
• Though illegal, the cannabis plant was being grown openly in the fertile Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. The new law will regulate all the existing marijuana cultivation efforts and help stem unlawful production of the plant. However, the recreational production and use of the plant will remain illegal.
Coronavirus likely to remain for a long time: WHO
• The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently stated that the novel coronavirus is likely to remain in the world for a long time to come.
• WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that countries that thought that coronavirus is under control are witnessing a second wave and the numbers and trends in America and Africa are still rising.
• The WHO Chief stated that most countries are currently still in their early stages of the epidemic and some that got affected early are witnessing resurgence in their COVID-19 case numbers.
• There are currently 2.5 million coronavirus cases across the globe, which includes 1.75 lakh fatalities.
South Korean firm begin producing COVID-19 Rapid Antibody Testing kits in India
• A South Korean firm has begun the production of COVID-19 Rapid Antibody Testing kits in its Indian subsidiary plant to meet its growing demand in India and across the world. The plant is located in Manesar, Gurgaon.
• The firm is reportedly producing the test kits with a capacity of 5,00,000 tests per week. The first batch of the kits was rolled out on April 19.
• Indian Ambassador to South Korea, Sripriya Ranganathan, visited the company's manufacturing facility to check the progress.
US President instructs US navy to destroy Iran gunboats if they harass their ships at sea
• US President Donald Trump on April 22, 2020 instructed the US Navy to destroy any Iranian ships that harass its ships at sea. This announcement comes a week after 11 vessels of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard came very close to US ships in the Gulf.
• Trump tweeted saying that he has instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy all Iranian gunboats if they harass their ships at sea.
• Trump’s tweet comes hours after Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps announced that Iran had launched its first military satellite into the orbit.
COVID-19 patients recovery rate improves to 19.36 percent
• The COVID-19 patients' recovery rate in India has improved to nearly 20 percent in recent days. This is a result of the centre and state governments’ extensive efforts to prevent, contain and manage the spread of coronavirus in India.
• The Union Health Ministry announced on April 22, 2020 that 3,959 patients have been cured so far, taking the recovery rate to 19.63 percent from the previous 17 percent.
• After Goa declared itself COVID-19 free, Manipur also became coronavirus free. While Goa had seven coronavirus patients, Manipur had two patients and they all have recovered and tested negative.
• Sikkim is the only Indian state that has remained COVID-19 free from the start of the outbreak. The state had shut itself off from the world early to remain infection-free. It hopes to maintain its record.