SKorea dairy firm CEO resigns over virus analysis scandal

The chairman of one in every of South Korea’s largest dairy corporations has resigned over a scandal wherein his firm was accused of intentionally spreading misinformation that its yogurt helps stop coronavirus infections

Whereas stepping down as the corporate’s head, Hong Gained-sik and different members of his household will retain their commanding share in Namyang Dairy Merchandise.

Namyang financed analysis it aggressively promoted via the media and a symposium it funded final month that claimed its Bulgaris yogurt drinks have been efficient in reducing the danger of coronavirus infections.

Namyang’s inventory value rose quickly earlier than the Ministry of Meals and Drug Security sued the corporate for false promoting, saying the analysis was doubtful and by no means concerned any animal testing or scientific trials.

Police searched Namyang’s Seoul headquarters final week. Namyang’s CEO, Lee Kwang-bum, additionally provided to resign following a public uproar.

“I specific my honest apology for inflicting disappointment and anger to our nation’s folks with the Bulgaris-related controversy at a time when the nation is present process a tough time due to COVID-19,” Hong stated, tearing up. He stated he’ll take “all accountability” by stepping down as chairman and promised to not cross on administration rights to his youngsters, which is a much-criticized apply at South Korea’s family-owned companies.

In different developments within the Asia-Pacific area:

— Sri Lanka has obtained its first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine following a delay in getting COVID-19 vaccines from India. The 15,000 doses have been flown in Tuesday. Sri Lanka has ordered 13 million Sputnik doses, and Channa Jayasuma, the state minister for drug regulation, stated he was hopeful Sri Lanka would obtain the entire order sooner or later. Sri Lanka is brief 600,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It has administered the primary shot to 925,242 folks, however the well being ministry has solely about 350,000 doses, leaving folks quick the required second dose after a delay in getting the vaccines ordered from India. In the meantime, coronavirus infections have unfold quickly. Sri Lanka has banned public gatherings and events, colleges are closed, and supermarkets and purchasing complexes are restricted to 25% of their buyer capability. It has counted 111,753 circumstances with 696 fatalities.

— North Korea is warning its folks to brace for a protracted battle towards the coronavirus, claiming that broadening outbreaks and muddled immunization packages in different international locations present vaccines aren’t the last word answer. The column revealed by Pyongyang’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper got here amid questions on when and the way vaccines would arrive in North Korea. The U.N.-backed program to ship COVID-19 vaccines worldwide stated in February that North Korea may obtain 1.9 million vaccine doses within the first half of this yr. Nevertheless, COVAX has since warned of world shortages due to India’s surging outbreak. The North has claimed an ideal file in conserving out COVID-19, however exterior consultants have doubted the declare. The state newspaper took an obvious shot at India’s anti-virus marketing campaign with out naming the nation. It stated a sure nation that had “exported vaccines it produced whereas publicly insisting that it considers the evil virus as defeated,” was now experiencing an explosive surge. “The circumstances of different international locations present additional proof that vaccines aren’t an all-around answer,” the newspaper wrote.

— The World Well being Group is ready to resolve this week whether or not to approve two Chinese language vaccines for emergency use towards COVID-19. Mariangela Simao, WHO’s assistant director-general for entry to medicines, vaccines and prescribed drugs, stated Monday some “ultimate preparations” stay to be made earlier than the essential phrase from a WHO technical advisory group comes on the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines. The anticipated transfer would set off broader use for the 2 vaccines in different international locations.

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