March 2020

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 27, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 27, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS
Shahzad F. Malik
Written by Shahzad F. Malik
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March 27, 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. Top govt committee endorses lockdown policy

• As the deadly pandemic claimed another life in Pakistan on March 26, 2020, the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Coronavirus decided to maintain the present policy of enforcement of lockdown in the country, close all educational institutions till May 31 and ensure uninterrupted food supplies, besides keeping the prices of essential commodities stabilised during the prevailing emergency-like situation.
• A meeting of the NCC, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, decided to hold another session on Friday to take a decision with regard to suspension of transport throughout the country.
• Prime Minister Khan apprised the participants of the meeting of his plan to establish a force of young volunteers to ensure supply of food items to the poor at their doorsteps and set up a fund with the support of philanthropists and overseas Pakistanis to fight the coronavirus pandemic.


2. PIA stopped from operating special flights for UK, Canada

• The sharp spread of coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom and Canada has forced the government to withdraw the permission it gave to the Pakistan International Airlines to operate four special flights to the two countries.
• PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said in a statement on March 26, 2020 that in view of the recent spike in the number of diagnosed coronavirus cases in the UK and Canada, the government, keeping the health and safety of citizens in consideration, had withdrawn the permission it gave to the PIA to operate its special flights to these countries.


3. Sindh, Balochistan ban congregational prayers

• As ulema of different sects failed to reach a consensus on the decree issued by Al Azhar to suspend Friday prayers and daily congregations at mosques to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the Sindh and Balochistan governments banned congregational prayers at mosques.
• At a video conference with President Dr Arif Alvi on March 26, 2020, prominent clerics belonging to Hanafi school of thought downplayed the Al Azhar decree, but the representatives of Shia and Ahle Hadith schools of thought supported suspension of congregational prayers.
• Meanwhile, the Sindh government announced suspension of congregational prayers at mosques, including Friday congregations, to maintain social distancing to arrest the spread of coronavirus.


4. Joint parliamentary panel formed

• National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on March 26, 2020 constituted a 25-member parliamentary committee having representation of all political parties to review, monitor and oversee issues related to coronavirus and its impact on the country`s economy.
• According to an official announcement by the National Assembly Secretariat, the parliamentary committee comprises 12 members of National Assembly and 13 senators and it would be headed by the speaker himself.
• The committee has been constituted by the speaker in consultation with Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and in pursuance of the decision of the meeting of the parliamentary leaders held on Wednesday and in line with the request made by Prime Minister Imran Khan

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5. SBP unveils debt relief measures for individuals, businesses

• The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in collaboration with the Pakistan Banks Association (PBA) unveiled a comprehensive package to help households, businesses and other stakeholders in the wake of corona virus-driven economic slowdown.
• `Amid growing concerns about the potential economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, the SBP with the collaboration of the PBA has announced a comprehensive relief package that will help relevant stakeholders including households and businesses (microfinance, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), corporate, commercial, retail, and agriculture) to manage their finances through this temporary phase of disruption,` said the central bank in a statement issued on Thursday.
• It said the banking sector`s overall pool of loan-able funds has been increased. Moreover, in order to support the banking sector to supply additional loans to businesses and households, the SBP has reduced the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) from its existing level of 2.50 per cent to 1.5pc.


6. Italy shuts factories to halt Covid-19

• Italy has become the first western developed nation to idle most of its industry to halt the spread of the coronavirus, a potential cautionary tale for other governments, such as the Trump administration, that are resisting such drastic measures.
• After more than two weeks of a nationwide lockdown, the Italian government decided to expand the mandatory closure of non-essential commercial activities to heavy industry in the eurozone`s third-largest economy, a major exporter of machinery, textiles and other goods.
• The move by Italy, which is leading the globe in virus deaths, is more in line with draconian measures taken by China than with declarations coming out of other democratic partners, who are at least a week or two behind Italy`s rate of virus infections.


7. Anyone coughing at police in Britain faces two years in jail

• Anyone claiming to have coronavirus who deliberately coughs at emergency workers faces being jailed for two years, Britain`s Director of Public Prosecutions said on March 26, 2020.
• Max Hill said there had been reports in recent days of people coughing in the faces of police, other emergency workers and shop staff. Those responsible could face charges of common assault, he said.
• `Emergency workers are more essential than ever as society comes together to tackle the coronavirus pandemic,` Hill said in a statement.


8. US-led forces leave Iraqi military base

• Two rockets slammed into the Iraqi capital`s high-security Green Zone early March 26, 2020, hours before US-led forces pulled out of a second base in the country.
• Some 7,500 foreign troops are in Iraq as part of the US-led coalition helping local troops fight jihadist remnants, but those numbers are being significantly drawn down this month.
• The alliance is temporarily bringing some trainers home as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus pandemic and is also leaving some Iraqi bases altogether.


9. Washington imposes fresh Tehran-related sanctions

• The United States blacklisted five Iranand Iraq-based companies and 15 individuals on March 26, 2020 for supporting terrorist groups, its third round of sanctions on Iranian targets in the last two weeks even as Tehran battles the coronavirus outbreak.
• In a statement, the US Treasury Department accused those targeted of supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Quds Force elite foreign paramilitary and espionage arm and of transferring lethal aid to Iran-backed militias in Iraq such as Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq, all of which Washington deems foreign terrorist organizations.
• The Pentagon blamed Kataib Hezbollah for a March 11 rocket attack that killed one British and two US personnel in Iraq.


10. ICC postpones World Cup qualifiers due to coronavirus

• The International Cricket Council (ICC) said on March 26, 2020 that all qualifying events for the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup and 50-overs version in 2023 that were scheduled to be held before June 30 have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
• The flu-like virus has infected more than 470,800 people around the world and killed over 21,200 since appearing in China at the end of last year.
• The pandemic has also brought global sport to a standstill and the ICC said in a statement the World Cup qualifiers would also be impacted. `The decision has been taken in conjunction with members and in line with the relevant government and public health authority advice,` the ICC said.


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Shahzad F. Malik

Shahzad F. Malik

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