1. Mumbai’s BMC launches its 1st COVID-19 testing bus
In an effort to ramp up the coronavirus testing, Mumbai’s (BMC) Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation launched its first COVID-19 testing bus. This bus is launched with the intention of carrying out mass screening of people in the city. For detecting the virus, the COVID bus will make use of a combination of fever, O2 saturation & AI-based Xrays. In addition to this, the vehicle is also equipped with an RT-PCR swab collection facility. The bus will travel to various slum locations and isolate those who are high-risk suspects.
2. Sun weaker than other stars, has been in a lull for 9000 years: Study
As compared to other similar stars, our Sun is weaker, lazy, and less active in strength, brightness, and power. Though the scientists have called the Sun ‘boring’, it might actually be good for humans and our planet. After carrying out an examination of 369 stars similar to the sun, the scientists found out that other starts display five times more brightness variability than the sun. Scientists have said that living under a weaker sun is more favourable as it makes surviving easier. The scientists then compared the recent data of the similar stars to historical data of the Sun’s activities. These historical data included about 400 years of observational data on sunspots and around 9,000 years of data related to the chemical element variants caused by solar activity. These records have proved that the sun hasn’t been much active since then.
3. Canada bans assault-style weapon after gunman kills 22 country’s worst mass shooting
The decision of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban assault-style weapons comes 19 days after a gunman killed 22 civilians, making the event the worst mass shooting in the country. This occurred in Nova Scotia, a province in eastern Canada. “These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada. Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import, or use military-grade assault weapons in this country.” said the PM of Canada.
4. An AI startup generates genre-specific music with lyrics
An AI startup OpenAI based in San Francisco launched a new generative model called Jukebox. This Jukebox has the feature of generating genre-specific music with lyrics. The startup has made the use of raw audio to train the model and used convolutional neural networks to encode and compress raw audio. Jukebox now reproduces songs of artists including Katy Perry, Elvis Presley, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and Alan Jackson.
5. NASA’s COVID-19 ventilator receives approval for emergency use by US FDA
A recently developed high pressure, cost-efficient ventilator by NASA to treat COVID-19 patients got a green signal by the United State’s FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for emergency use. This device takes 37 days to be developed and is going to be provided for free till the time this pandemic lasts.
6. Mask wearing Robots greet COVID-19 patients in Japan
Hotels in Japan are all ready to greet COVID-19 patients with mask-wearing robots. Patients with mild symptoms visiting to stay in hotels are greeted with these robots in the lobby to lift up their mood. Japan has now opened hotels to treat patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms who do not require hospitalization. These robots are primarily used to lessen the burden falling on the nurses who are helping patients recover from the virus. The robots have been developed by SoftBank Robotics and will be deployed to hotels rented by Tokyo’s metropolitan government.
7. Retirement age for civic health officers temporarily raised by BMC
The retirement age of all the civic health officers working in all the civic-run hospitals was increased by one year by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation as a measure to help the other healthcare officials in handling the pandemic situation in the city. The retirement age that was 58 has now been increased to 59. Similarly, the retirement age of professors in the BMC-run medical colleges has also been increased by one year.
8. Indian and international celebrities join hands for a concert to fight against COVID-19
Several national, as well as international celebrities, have come together for a virtual concert under the name of ‘I for India’ which is going to be streamed live at 7.30 pm (IST) on Sunday (3 May) with the motive to raise money for the India COVID Response Fund (ICRF). The event is going to be hosted by Facebook and is going to the biggest ever fundraiser concert in the country. All the funds collected are to go straight to the ICRF. Celebrities who are going to be a part of this event include Priyanka Chopra, A R Rahman, Virat Kohli, Ayushamann Khurrana, Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Hrithik Roshan, Amir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and many more.
9. To avoid clash with Olympics, 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games postponed
The 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games have now been postponed to 2023 to avoid clashing with Tokyo’s Olympic. The Olympics were to be held this year from July 23 to August 8 this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic but are now postponed to next year. “Following positive discussions, the CGF has agreed to consider the best alternative options and time frames for staging the event in the future, potentially in 2023”, the CGF said in a statement.
10. NASA’s space laser mission records years of ice sheet loss
NASA recently measured how the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland have melted in the past 16 years, using its advanced Earth-observing laser instrument. According to the study carried out by the experts at NASA, Greenland is losing about 200 gigatonnes (billion tonnes) of ice a year on an average while Antarctica is giving away an average of roughly 118 gigatonnes per annum.
11. Separate guidelines to be implemented in each zone during the extended lockdown
The central government on 1st May extended the nationwide lockdown for two more weeks rill 17th May. Under this lockdown, it has set new guidelines different for each zone. All essential services to operate in all the zones. Those areas falling under the red zone won’t be prohibited to move around in taxis, cabs, and busses. No barber shops, spas, and salons will be allowed to operate in this zone. E-commerce services for essential goods will be allowed to operate in the red zone. Private offices can operate with 33% of staff. Under the green zone, all activities are permitted to take place except those that are banned overall in the country. Buses can operate with 50% seating capacity.