What’s in news?
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus is Covid-2019.
- It comes after the death toll from the virus passed 1,000. Tens of thousands of people have been infected.
- The new name is taken from the words “corona”, “virus” and “disease”, with 2019 representing the year that it emerged (the outbreak was reported to the WHO on 31 December).
- WHO officials wanted a name that doesn’t refer to a geographical location, animals, an individual or a group of people.
- The virus had been tentatively referred to as 2019-nCoV. Some people on social media have referred to the respiratory illness as the “Wuhan virus” or “China virus.
Naming a disease:
- WHO developed the best practices for naming new human infectious diseases in close collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and in consultation with experts leading the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
- The final name of any new human disease is assigned by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is managed by WHO.
WORLD PULSES DAY
What’s in news?
India hosts the UN World Pulses Day celebrations on in New Delhi. The UN World Pulses Day is celebrated every year on 10th February across the world.
- Pulses, also known as legumes, are the edible seeds of leguminous plants cultivated for food.
- Dried beans, lentils and peas are the most commonly known and consumed types of pulses.
- Pulses do not include crops that are harvested green (e.g. green peas, green beans)—these are classified as vegetable crops.
- Also excluded are those crops used mainly for oil extraction (e.g. soybean and groundnuts) and leguminous crops that are used exclusively for sowing purposes (e.g. seeds of clover and alfalfa).
Significance of pulses:
- They are packed with nutrients and have a high protein content, making them an ideal source of protein particularly in regions where meat and dairy are not physically or economically accessible.
- Pulses are low in fat and rich in soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and help in the control of blood sugar.
- The nitrogen-fixing properties of pulses improve soil fertility, which increases and extends the productivity of the farmland.
- By using pulses for intercropping and cover crops, farmers can also promote farm biodiversity and soil biodiversity.
- Furthermore, pulses can contribute to climate change mitigation by reducing dependence on the synthetic fertilizers used to introduce nitrogen artificially into the soil.
- Greenhouse gases are released during the manufacturing and application of these fertilizers, and their overuse can be detrimental to the environment.
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