Daily News Digest

1. China Exonerates self in white paper

China has released information on COVID-19 in an open and transparent manner as required by law, said the White Paper ‘Fighting COVID-19: China in Action’ released on Sunday stressing China’s containment efforts.

What is a White Paper?

A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers about a complex issue and presents the issuing body’s philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.

What was the need of issuing this white paper?

Increasing international pressure and deteriorating relations with nations with good trade-terms led China to issue this letter. Also US President Donald Trump and leaders of several countries accused China of not being transparent in reporting the deadly disease, leading to huge human casualties and economic crisis across the world.

The letter says –

On December 27 last year, Zhang Jixian, a respiratory doctor in Wuhan, which was hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, was the first to alert authorities of a new contagious disease after treating patients with flu-like symptoms. Meanwhile, the city’s health officials started an investigation into the viral outbreak.

Within three days, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission sent out an urgent notification about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown causes in the city, and started briefing on the disease since December 31.

On January 21, China’s National Heath Commission (NHC) started to publish COVID-19 information from the previous day on its official website and social media platforms, as did provincial health departments. From February 3, the NHC started sharing the information in English.

“The experience is something other countries can draw on in their fight against the virus,” said the white paper.

China willing to show cooperation –

Recently, the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), passed a unanimous resolution to probe the origin of the virus. China also backed the resolution.

2. No to saliva, yes to sweat: ICC set to impose rules pertaining to match-ball

“On Monday, the ICC committee headed by Anil Kumble banned saliva use to shine the ball. The International Cricket Council (ICC) says changes to regulations have been brought in ‘to mitigate the risk posed by the Covid-19 virus and protect the safety of players and match officials”.

Unanimously banned the use of Saliva –

Henceforth, players would be barred from using saliva to shine the ball. The decision was taken by the Kumble-led Cricket Committee via a conference call meeting.

Why this ban?

The ICC says that the decision has been taken in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. With regards to the saliva ban, the Cricket Committee acted on ICC Medical Advisory. The ban to shine the ball has been put in place because spitting on the ball elevates the risk of virus transmission. The WHO advisory also suggests the same that the virus is transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes.

Sweat is allowed –

Now if not saliva, sweat can still be used to shine the ball. The committee noted that the virus transmission is highly unlikely through the sweat and found no need to ban the sweat from shining the ball.

The Guideline also says…

Consider appointing a Chief Medical Officer and/or a Bio-safety Official who will be responsible for implementing government regulations and the bio-safety plan to resume training and competition.

Sanitisation of personal equipment, before and after use, and practice of social distancing is also part of the guidelines.

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