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March 2020

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 16, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 16, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

March 16, 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. Pakistan calls for joint efforts to fight virus menace in S. Asia

• Stating that no nation and no region on earth can afford to be unresponsive to the coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan on March 15, 2020 called for fighting `the most serious global health emergency in the last 100 years` with collective efforts and suggested that a `regional mechanism` be developed by member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for sharing `disease surveillance data, prevalence and incidence of communicable diseases and public health events of regional significance`.
• The proposal was made by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Zafar Mirza during a video conference of the SAARC leaders hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss and formulate a joint strategy for curbing the spread of coronavirus, scientifically known as COVID-19, which had already infected over155,000 peoplein138 countries, resulting in nearly 6,000 deaths across the globe.
• Besides Mr Modi, the video conference was attended by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepal`s Prime Minister Sharma Oli, Bhutan`s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

2. Hostels of varsities across Punjab converted into quarantine centres

• The government has converted all public sector universities` hostels into quarantine centres as an immediate arrangement for likely coronavirus patients as health authorities confirmed first COVID-19 case in the Punjab capital on March 15, 2020.
• A senior Higher Education Department (HED) official told that hostels were being vacated and cleaned as a precautionary measure to turn rooms into quarantine centres. However, some vice chancellors of these universities Dawn talked to were not aware of the purpose of vacatingand cleaning of the hostels.
• The 54-year-old patient admitted to Mayo Hospital on Saturday night had returned from the UK on March 10. Health authorities say that all contacts of the patient had tested negative for the virus.

3. President leaves for China today

• President Dr Arif Alvi will leave for China on Monday (March 15, 2020) on his first visit to the neighbouring country since assuming the office in September 2018.
• In a statement issued on March 15, 2020, Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that the president would be visiting China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping of China.
• During his two-day visit, the president would be accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and senior government officials.

4. Ex-governor Iftikhar Shah passes away

• A former governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Lt-Gen retired Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, died of heart attack on March 15, 2020.
• Born on March 14, 1949, in a family of Mians, he was considered a close aide of former Army Chief Gen retired Prevez Musharraf, as under whose regime, he served as governor, federal minister for communications and ambassador to Turkey.
• Numerous projects like Kohat Friendship Tunnel, Kohat University of Science and Technology, board of secondary education, Kohat, Federal Education Academy, colleges and hospitals were constructed during his tenures as the minister and the provincial governor.
• The late general remained Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor from 2000 to 2005. He joined army in 1964 and was elevated to the post of lieutenant general in 2000.

5. Al Aqsa mosque closes over virus

• The Islamic endowment overseeing the Al Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, says the mosque itself and other buildings will be closed over concerns about the new coronavirus.
• Sheikh Omar Kiswani, the director of the mosque, said on March 15, 2020 that prayers will continue to be held outdoors. The closure is to continue indefinitely.

6. First Russia-Turkey patrol on Syrian highway cut short

• Turkish and Russian troops began joint patrols on Sunday on a key highway in northwestern Syria, Turkey`s Defence Ministry said, while both the Russian government and Syrian opposition activists said the patrols were shortened because of protests.
• Patrols on the highway known as the M4, which runs east west through Idlib province, are part of a ceasefire agreement between Turkey and Russia signed earlier this month.
• The ceasefire ended an escalation in fighting that saw the Turkish military in rare direct conflict with Syrian government troops

7. Netanyahu challenger Gantz asked to form govt in Israel

• Israel`s president on March 15, 2020 said he has decided to give opposition leader Benny Gantz the first opportunity to form a new government following an inconclusive national election this month.
• President Reuven Rivlin`s office announced his decision late on Sunday after consulting with leaders of all of the parties elected to parliament.
• The decision raises questions about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s political future.
• Netanyahu`s Likud emerged as the largest party in the March 2 election, Israel`s third in under a year. But with his smaller religious and nationalist allies, he received the support of only 58 lawmakers during Sunday`s consultations, leaving Likud three seats short of the required majority in parliament.

8. Syria`s brutal war enters 10th year

• Syria`s brutal conflict entered its 10th year on Sunday with President Bashar al-Assad`s regime consolidating its hold over a warwracked country where foreign powers are flexing their muscle.
• When Syrian anti-government demonstrators first took to the streets on March 15, 2011, they could scarcely have imagined their protests would turn into a complex war entangling rebels, jihadists and outside forces.
• At least 384,000 people have since died, including more than 116,000 civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor says.

9. Blistering Lynn ton inspires Qalandars to final four for first time

• Lahore Qalandars have finally qualified for the final round of the Pakistan Super League for the first time in the tournament`s five-year history.
• The Qalandars who started the tournament with a reputation of being serial losers completed a resounding comeback after a poor start to this year`s edition as well, when they were driven to a nine wicket win against Multan Sultans thanks to a blistering century by Australian batsman Chris Lynn and a half-century by Fakhar Zaman at the Gaddafi Stadium on March 15, 2020.
• The result set up a semifinal clash between the Qalandars and their traditional rivals Karachi Kings in Lahore on Tuesday.

10. Kings reach semis as Gladiators bow out with consolation win

• Although Quetta Gladiators stood dethroned as the HBL Pakistan Super League champions before they took the field against Karachi Kings at the National Stadium on March 15, 2020, they bowed out with a face-saving win by five wickets.
• Qualification for the semifinals was hypothetically beyond Sarfraz Ahmed`s men as they had gone into this encounter with an inferior net run-rate of -1.072.
• They needed to overhaul the target of 151 runs in just 20 deliveries to overhaul fourth-placed Peshawar Zalmi for the remaining knockout-round berth

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 16, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS

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