SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The chairman of considered one of South Korea’s greatest dairy firms has resigned over a scandal wherein his company was accused of intentionally spreading misinformation that its yogurt helps forestall coronavirus infections.
While stepping down because the company’s head, Hong Won-sik and different members of his household will retain their commanding share in Namyang Dairy Products.
Namyang financed research it aggressively promoted by way of the media and a symposium it funded final month that claimed its Bulgaris yogurt drinks had been efficient in decreasing the danger of coronavirus infections.
Namyang’s inventory worth rose quickly earlier than the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety sued the company for false promoting, saying the research was doubtful and by no means concerned any animal testing or medical trials.
Police searched Namyang’s Seoul headquarters final week. Namyang’s CEO, Lee Kwang-bum, additionally provided to resign following a public uproar.
“I express my sincere apology for causing disappointment and anger to our country’s people with the Bulgaris-related controversy at a time when the nation is undergoing a hard time because of COVID-19,” Hong stated, tearing up. He stated he’ll take “all responsibility” by stepping down as chairman and promised to not go on administration rights to his kids, which is a much-criticized follow 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 had 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. Meanwhile, coronavirus infections have unfold quickly. Sri Lanka has banned public gatherings and events, faculties are closed, and supermarkets and buying complexes are restricted to 25% of their buyer capability. It has counted 111,753 instances with 696 fatalities.
— North Korea is warning its folks to brace for a chronic wrestle in opposition to the coronavirus, claiming that broadening outbreaks and muddled immunization packages in different nations 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 might obtain 1.9 million vaccine doses within the first half of this yr. However, COVAX has since warned of world shortages due to India’s surging outbreak. The North has claimed an ideal document in conserving out COVID-19, however outdoors specialists 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 while publicly insisting that it considers the evil virus as defeated,” was now experiencing an explosive surge. “The cases of other countries provide further proof that vaccines aren’t an all-around solution,” the newspaper wrote.
— The World Health Organization is ready to resolve this week whether or not to approve two Chinese vaccines for emergency use in opposition to COVID-19. Mariangela Simao, WHO’s assistant director-general for entry to medicines, vaccines and prescription drugs, stated Monday some “final arrangements” 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 nations.