Current Affairs in Short: 23 June 2020
Patanjali has launched 'Coronil and Swasari', its Ayurvedic medicine, which it claims can treat COVID-19. There is no official confirmation on the same by any scientific or government authority.
Saudi Arabia to hold limited Hajj pilgrimage in 2020
• Saudi Arabia announced that it will hold a "very limited" Hajj this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only those people already living in the kingdom will be allowed to take part in the pilgrimage that begins in late July.
• The decision comes in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases around the world, the lack of a vaccine and difficulty in maintaining social distancing among large numbers of pilgrims coming from overseas.
• Over two million people perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca every year, including many pilgrims from abroad. The Hajj is considered a must for Muslims at least once in their lifetime.
• The Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi informed on June 23 that India has honoured Saudi Arabia’s decision to ban international pilgrims to perform Haj. The Minister stated that the Muslims from India will not go to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj.
Patanjali launches Ayurvedic medicine to treat COVID-19, claims 100 pc recovery within 3-7 days
• Patanjali on June 23, 2020 launched 'Coronil and Swasari', its Ayurvedic medicine, which it claims can treat COVID-19. There is no official confirmation on the same by any scientific or government authority.
• Patanjali stated that the medicines showed 100 percent favourable results during clinical trials on the confirmed coronavirus patients. Two clinical trials were conducted, the first clinical controlled study that took place in Delhi and Ahmedabad and many other cities.
• Around 280 COVID patients were included in the trial and as per Patanjali, 100 percent of those recovered.
• However, the efficacy of Patanjali’s medicines has not received any backing from any medical body as yet. The World Health Organization (WHO) had recently said that though many drug trials are going on, there is currently no proof that any drug can cure or prevent COVID-19.
WHO suggests usage of dexamethasone for critical COVID cases
• The World Health Organisation (WHO) on June 21, 2020 emphasised on a rapid increase in the production of dexamethasone. WHO suggested the usage of the drug on critical COVID cases.
• Dexamethasone is a cheap steroid which after clinical trials has shown life-saving potential for critically ill COVID-19 patients. The preliminary clinical trial was conducted on random 2,100 hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
• According to researchers from Oxford University, a low dosage of dexamethasone, which is typically used to treat certain forms of arthritis, severe allergies, asthma, and certain types of cancer, for 10 days can reduce the risk of death by a third among the critical coronavirus patients requiring ventilator support.
• However, the findings are still in their preliminary stage and are still being compiled and have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
US Congressman urges Trump to reverse H-1B visa suspension order
• US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has written to US President Donald Trump urging him to roll back his order to suspend H-1B and other work visas for one year.
• The Congressman expressed disappointment over the new restrictions on work visas, including H1-B visas, which are used widely in the tech industry.
• He urged President Trump to roll back the order to ensure a broader economy and more jobs that could combat the next phase of the pandemic and pave way for economic recovery.
• Raja Krishnamoorthi stated that the H-1B program, in particular, plays a crucial role in addressing the shortage of health care professionals in the US and also provides other key sectors of the economy with talent from around the world to not only fill jobs but create new ones.
• He argued that suspending the programme will only weaken the economy and health care workforce at a time when the US needs to strengthen both.
Telangana HC issues notice to Twitter, Centre, State government over communal tweets
• The Telangana High Court has issued notices to social networking site Twitter, Centre as well as the state government seeking explanation on why posts allegedly linking COVID-19 to the Muslim community and the religious event held in Nizamuddin in the national capital in March 2020, have not been removed.
• The High Court bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen issued the notice after hearing a petition filed by advocate Khaja Aijazuddin seeking direction against the social networking site to stop the alleged "illegal" trending of some posts that were linked to religion and the pandemic.
• The petitioner urged the court to direct the state government to register criminal cases against Twitter and the users who were involved in allegedly spreading hatred messages under Chapter XV-Offences Relating to Religion of Indian Penal Code and other relevant laws prevailing.
• The petitioner also urged the court to direct Cabinet Secretary and Telangana Home Secretary to restrain all online social media networks operating in India from carrying any "Islamophobic" posts or messages targeting the feelings of the community.
• The petitioner alleged that posts with hashtags #Islamiccoronavirusjihad, #Coronajihad,#Tablighijamat, #Nizamuddinidiots, #TablighiJamatVirus, were allegedly trending in social media.