April 2020

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs/News (April 24, 2020) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs/News (April 24, 2020) for CSS, PMS
Shahzad F. Malik
Written by Shahzad F. Malik
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April 24 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. Lenders` help lowers Pakistan`s financing risks: Moody`s

• The financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multilaterals has lowered Pakistan`s financing risks from the coronavirus-related economic shock even though its fiscal deficit may touch double digits.
• `The substantial financial support from official-sector creditors reduces Pakistan`s financing risks,` said the Moody`s investors service on April 23, 2020, adding that the fiscal stimulus announced by the government could widen the country`s budget deficit to 9.5-10 per cent of GDP.
• The IMF approved disbursement of $1.4 billion (0.5pc of GDP) to Pakistan under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and it was supplemented by $588 million (0.2pc of GDP) assistance committed by the Asian Development Bank and the International Development Association to support Pakistan`s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, G20 creditors have offered bilateral debt relief to Pakistan.


2. US will provide ventilators to Pakistan: Trump

• US President Donald Trump has said that Pakistan has asked him to send ventilators for the victims of the coronavirus and he has agreed to do so.
• Unclear whether supply will be US assistance or Islamabad will pay for it
• At a White House briefing on US efforts to combat the disease, President Trump said that on April 22, 2020 he spoke to a number of world leaders `who desperately need ventilators` and assured them that Washington would help them meet their needs.
• `Spoke with Pakistan; they would like to have some ventilators. We`re going to get them some ventilators, he said, adding that all the leaders he spoke to `said to me one thing: It was incredible that you solved the ventilator problem because that was a big problem` When the outbreak began two months ago, the United States did not have enough ventilators to meet the rising demand and governors in most of the 50 US states tried to outbid each other to buy these breathing machines from foreign manufacturers.


3. Punjab chief secretary removed `unceremoniously`

• The federal government in a surprise move on April 23, 2020 late night transferred Punjab chief secretary retired Maj Azam Suleman Khan, a BS-22 officer, and directed him to report to the Establishment Division with immediate effect.
• The transfer has been made at a time when Chief Minister Usman Buzdar is in Islamabad and reportedly met Prime Minister Imran Khan in the evening.
• The federal government has also posted Jawwad Rafique Malik, a BS-22 officer, as Punjab chief secretary with immediate effect.


4. Pakistan first to get G4 rank in South Asia

• Pakistan has been ranked as a 4th Generation Regulator (G4) by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), becoming the only country in South Asia to have achieved the status.
• Out of the 38 economies in Asia-Pacific, only eight per cent states have managed to achieve G4 status.
• In the ITU report titled `Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2020 (GIRO)`, Pakistan scored 88 out of 100. This means that Pakistan`s ICT regulations are led by economic and social policy goa1s. Pakistan is also among the top five regulators in the entire Asia-Pacific region with a global rank of 48.
• The GIRO is built on data provided by 193 countries, which forms the basis of `ICT Regulatory Tracker` The tracker, developed by ITU, is an evidence-based tool that helps decision makers and regulators monitor the rapid evolution of ICT regulation.


5. WB sees 23pc cut in Pakistan`s remittances

• The World Bank says that remittances to Pakistan in 2020 are projected to decline by 23 per cent, totalling about $17 billion, compared with $22.5bn remitted in 2019, in the wake of the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
• And, the bank warns, this crisis could be long, deep, and pervasive when viewed through a migration lens.
• The latest issue of World Bank publication, Migration and Development Brief focusing on the Covid-19 crisis, says that the outbreak has affected both international and internal migration in the South Asia region.


6. UN warns Israel over West Bank annexation

• The UN`s special Middle East envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, on April 23, 2020 warned Israel not to annex parts of the West Bank, saying such a move would be a `devastating blow` to the internationally-backed two state solution.
• In a video briefing with the Security Council, which holds a meeting each month on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mladenov hailed what he called `inspiring examples of cooperation across conflict lines` in the coronavirus battle.
• But he warned that in the past month, there has also been `continued confrontation and fighting, as the human toll of war continues to rise` .
• `The dangerous prospect of annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied West Bank is a growing threat, Mladenov said, warning that such a move would violate international law.


7. Experimental drug fails in human trial

• The experimental antiviral drug remdesivir has failed in its first randomised clinical trial to treat the Covid-19 illness, sources said on April 23, 2020, quoting draft documents that were accidentally published by the World Health Organisation.
• Gilead Sciences, the company behind the medicine, disputed how the now deleted post had characterised the findings, saying the data showed a `potential benefit`.
• The Financial Times reported that researchers in China carried out a study on 237 patients, giving the drug to 158 and comparing their progress with a control group of 79.


8. Palestinian university unveils ‘home-made’ ventilator

• A Palestinian university on April 23, 2020 unveiled a “home-made” ventilator as West Bank hospitals brace for a potential wave of coronavirus patients.
• The device was released by Al-Quds University on the outskirts of Jerusalem a day after being certified for use in Palestinian hospitals.
• Hani Abdeen, dean of the university’s medicine faculty, said that earlier this year, the occupied Palestinian territories (including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) had only had 180-200 ventilators.
• With the West Bank alone home to some 2.7 million people, far more machines will likely be needed if a major COVID-19 outbreak takes hold.


9. Oxford University pushing science to the limit in vaccine hunt

• Oxford University is launching a human trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine, with the daunting aim of making a successful jab available to the public later this year.
• Of the more than 100 research projects around the world to find a vaccine described by the United Nations as the only route back to `normality` seven are currently in clinical trials, according to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
• Such trials are already underway in China and the United States and are due to begin at the end of this month in Germany, where the federal vaccine authority gave the green light on Wednesday.
• The British government supports Oxford University`s work, and the first human trials started on Thursday, Health Minister Matt Hancock said.


10. Olympian wrestler Afzal dies of virus

• Pakistan`s renowned Olympian wrestler Haji Mohammad Afzal died of coronavirus in New York on April 22, 2020. He was 81.
• Afzal represented the country at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics where he was ruled out of the semi-final due to an injury.
• For the last month or so Afzal had been in New York, where he suffered from coronavirus and could not survive. New York has been hit hardest by the epidemic in the US.
• Afzal was born on April 7, 1939. Due to his prominence as a wrestler, President Ayub Khan gave him the title of `Sher-e-Pakistan` in 1960.


Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs/News (April 24, 2020) for CSS, PMS

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Shahzad F. Malik

Shahzad F. Malik

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