Prelims Booster

10th April – Prelims Booster



Scientists at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have designed and developed a highly efficient super absorbent material for liquid respiratory and other body fluid solidification and disinfection for the safe management of infected respiratory secretions.

Need –

Disposal of infected secretions from patients poses a great challenge to every hospital. This is particularly so in the case of secretions of patients with highly contagious diseases such as COVID-19. The collection and disposal of such wastes put the nursing and cleaning staff at high risk.

How will it work?

  • The material is a highly efficient super absorbent material for liquid respiratory and other body fluid solidification and disinfection.
  • AcryloSorb can absorb liquids at least 20 times more than its dry weight and also contains a decontaminant for in situ disinfection.
  • Containers filled with this material will immobilise the contaminated fluid by solidifying it (gel-like), thus avoiding spillage and will also disinfect it.
  • The canister containing the solidified waste canister can then be decomposed as all other biomedical waste by incineration.

Significance –

This technology reduces the risk for the hospital staff, the need for personnel for disinfecting and cleaning the bottles and canisters for reusing them and makes the disposal safer and easier.

i-GOT e-learning Platform

The Department of Personnel and Training has announced the launch of a learning platform i-GOT to combat COVID-19 for all front-line workers to equip them with the training and updates in coping with Pandemic.

Need –

Appropriate training will also prepare them for the subsequent stages of the pandemic. By giving COVID19 training to other potential second line workforce, India will be better prepared for the emergency situations.

Beneficiaries –

The target group is Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, Hygiene Workers, Technicians, Auxiliary Nursing Midwives (ANMs), Central & State Govt. Officers, Civil Defence Officials, various Police Organisations, National Cadet Corps (NCC), Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), National Service Scheme (NSS), Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), Bharat Scouts & Guides (BSG) and other volunteers.

What does it do?

  • The platform delivers curated, role-specific content, to each learner at his place of work or home and to any device of his choice. iGOT platform is designed to population scale, and will provide training to around 1.50 crore workers and volunteers in the coming weeks.
  • To begin with nine (9) courses on iGOT have been launched on topics like Basics of COVID, ICU Care and Ventilation Management, Clinical Management, Infection Prevention through PPE, Infection Control and Prevention, Quarantine and Isolation, Laboratory Sample Collection and Testing, Management of COVID 19 Cases, COVID 19 Training.

Madhuban Gajar

Madhuban Gajar, a biofortified carrot variety with high β-carotene and iron content developed by Shri Vallabhhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya, a farmer scientist from Junagadh district, Gujarat is benefitting more than 150 local farmers in the area.

It is being planted in an area of over 200 hectares in Junagadh, and the average yield, which is 40-50 t/ha, has become the main source of income to the local farmers. The variety is being cultivated in more than 1000 hectares of land in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh during the last three years.

About Madhuban Gajar –

The Madhuban Gajar is a highly nutritious carrot variety developed through the selection methodwith higher β-carotene content (277.75 mg/kg) and iron content (276.7 mg/kg) dry basis and is used for various value-added products like carrot chips, juices, and pickles. Among all the varieties tested, beta-carotene and iron content were found to be superior.

What is β-carotene (Beta Carotene)?

  • Beta carotene is a red/orange pigment found in many fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A, an essential vitamin. We should remember that Vitamin A is toxic at high levels.
  • Beta carotene is a carotenoid and an antioxidant
  • Foods rich in vitamin A include onions, carrots, peas, spinach and squash contain beta carotene.
  • One study showed that smokers with high beta carotene intake might have an increased risk of lung cancer.
  • Some evidence suggests that beta carotene might slow cognitive decline
  • Beta carotene supplements interact with certain drugs, including statins and mineral oil
  • Beta carotene might help older people retain their lung strength as they age.

What is R0?

Numerous studies are being done to understand how contagious the COVID-19 virus is. In this calculation, the mathematical figure ‘R0’, which indicates how fast an infection is spreading, is considered essential.

What is R0?

  • R0 (pronounced “R-naught”) is the rate at which a virus is transmitted.
  • Also called the basic reproduction number, it indicates the average number of people who will contract the virus from a person who has already been infected, in a population that does not have immunity for the said disease.

How it it calculated?

  • R0 is the division of the number of new infections by the number of existing infections, or the average number of new infections over an infectious period (R0= new infections/existing infections).
  • To illustrate with an example, if the number of people diagnosed with a disease increases from four to eight in two days, it is likely to increase to 16 two days later, or in four days from the start. This makes the R0 two.
  • The higher the R0, the more contagious the infection. When the R0 is 1, it means the number of infected persons in a population is constant. For every person who is cured of the disease or dies due to it, there will be one fresh case in the population.

What is the ideal scenario?

  • When the R0 is 1, it means the number of infected persons in a population is constant. For every person who is cured of the disease or dies due to it, there will be one fresh case in the population.
  • By this logic, the ideal scenario is when the R0 is below 1. This means the infection is transmitted to fewer people. When such a rate is maintained over a considerable period of time, the disease is eradicated.

What is the R0 for Novel coronavirus?

While many studies have differed in their conclusions, the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the R0 for coronavirus at 1.4 to 2.5.

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