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Science Monitor: 25 July 2020

Science Monitor: 25 July 2020

Topics covered in this Gist are

  1. WHO on India’s COVID-19 response
  4. COVID Protection System for workplaces unveiled by CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur

1.  WHO on India’s COVID-19 response

Context: oxford.jpgThe number of Covid-19 patienst in the country has crossed the figure of 12 lakh. In a country of more than 130 crore population, this is not a big number but it certainly raises worries due to the infection rate of the virus.

WHO on India

  • In India, Covid-19 death per million are among the lowest in the world and the recovery rate is becoming better day by day.
  • The country did not witness an exponential increase in a case like some other countries which reported their first few cases along with India.
  • The increase in cases in the country should also be seen in the context of the pandemics still accelerating globally.
  • The transmission of Covid-19 is not homogenous in India.
    • There are areas yet to see a confirmed case, some have sporadic cases, some small clusters while some are large clusters in the mega cities from the densely populated areas.
    • In some megacities, the numbers of fresh cases are now declining.
  • India is continuously strengthening preparedness and response measure, which includes ramping up test capacities, readying more hospitals, training health workers, arranging and stocking up medicines, and essentials.
  • India must continue to implement core public health and social distancing measures. Moving forward local epidemiology should guide the response for finding hot spots, testing, detecting isolating, and providing care to the affected.damini.jpg


Context: During the Monsoon period in India, thousands of people lose their lives and property due to the lightning strikes. One can get alerts about its occurrence in advance with the help of a mobile application called Damini.

About the App

  • Damini is a free mobile-based application that can warn people about lightning at least 30-45 minutes before it strikes.
  • It was launched by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.thunder.jpg
  • Damini Lightning app is developed by IITM-Pune and ESSO. The app is monitoring all lightning activity which is happening in specifically for all India.
  • It provides accurate forecasts of thunderstorms and lightning strikes within 20 km from the customer’s location through audio alerts and SMSs.
  • The app gives the exact location of the current lightning strikes, probable location of impending lightning and movement and direction of thunder storm.
  • The app is free and can be downloaded from the play store.


  • Lightning is a complex phenomenon that cannot be prevented.
  • It is a flow of electric charge which begins when large clouds containing ice crystals and water droplets rub against each other and generate static electricity.
  • When this charge builds up and does not get any conductor in the atmosphere then it propagates towards the nearest opposite charge present on the earth.
  • Any conducive body can be affected by lightning-like a tree, an electric pole or even a person or an animal.

Do’s and Don’ts during the lightning events

  • Seek shelter in a building or an enclosed solid structure after getting the warning.
  • If there is no shelter nearby then cover your ears with your hands and crouch down like a ball like position with your feet and knees together.
  • Stay away from open fields, trees, and rocks.
  • Do not wash metal utensils in the open.
  • Do not bathe.
  • Do not use an umbrella.
  • Stay away from high tensions wires and electric poles.

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM)

  • It is a scientific institution based in Pune, India for expanding research in the tropical Indian Ocean (formerly on tropical meteorology), of the tropics in general with special reference to monsoon meteorology, and air-sea interaction of Indian monsoon.
  • In the initial years, along with the IMD, the Institute functioned under the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, but later in 1985, it was brought under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Ministry of Science & Technology and now, with effect from 12 July 2006 the IITM has been under the administrative control of the specially formed Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).


Context: A team of researchers from the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences (KSBS), IIT Delhi found that active components from Tea and Haritaki can help in fighting the infection caused by the SARS Cov-2.

About the Research