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China's experimental COVID-19 vaccine appears safe, says study – CGTN

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An experimental coronavirus vaccine being developed by the Institute of Medical Biology under the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences was shown to be safe in an early stage clinical trial, researchers said.

In a phase-1 trial involving 191 healthy participants aged between 18 and 59, the experimental shot showed no severe adverse reactions, researchers said on Tuesday in a paper on medRxiv preprint server ahead of peer review.

The most common adverse reactions reported by the trial participants were mild pain, slight fatigue and redness, itching and swelling at the injection site.

The candidate vaccine also induced an immune response.

“All the data obtained in this trial support the safety and immunogenicity of this inactivated vaccine and are encouraging with regard to further studies of its efficacy in the future,” the paper said.

China now is conducting clinical trials of 11 COVID-19 vaccines, four of which have entered phase-3 trials, said Wang Zhigang, Chinese minister of Science and Technology, during a health forum last month.

CGTN Infographic

CGTN Infographic

Among the four candidate vaccines in China, the one developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm CanSino Biologics and a team led by infectious disease expert Chen Wei is an adenoviral vector-based vaccine, while the other three are based on the inactivated virus.

Wu Guizhen, the chief biosecurity expert from China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed in September that the general public in China could start receiving COVID-19 vaccines as early as November, saying that the current phase 3 clinical trials have been going smoothly.

UAE nears end of  Sinopharm’s vaccine trial, results good

A United Arab Emirates company is nearing the end of Phase 3 clinical trials of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine and hopes to manufacture it next year, a representative said.

The trial, which began in mid-July, is a partnership between Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42 (G42). 

The vaccine has been administered to more than 31,000 people in the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and Jordan, G42 Healthcare CEO Ashish Koshy said. 

“Early results are showing it is safe, there is a general rise in antibodies for all the volunteers,” Koshy said. 

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Globally, nine experimental vaccines are in the pipeline of the WHO-led COVAX global vaccine facility, which aims to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, addressing the end of a two-day meeting of its executive board on the pandemic, said: “We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope.”

(With input from Reuters)

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Lee Kun-Hee, force behind Samsung's rise, dies at 78 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Kim Tong-Hyung And Hyung-Jin Kim, The Associated Press


Published Saturday, October 24, 2020 9:45PM EDT


Last Updated Saturday, October 24, 2020 10:31PM EDT

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of – Lee Kun-Hee, the ailing Samsung Electronics chairman who transformed the small television maker into a global giant of consumer electronics, has died. He was 78.

A Samsung statement said Lee died on Sunday with his family members, including his son and de facto company chief Lee Jae-yong, by his side.

Lee Kun-Hee had been hospitalized since May 2014 after suffering a heart attack and the younger Lee has run Samsung, the biggest company in South Korea.

“All of us at Samsung will cherish his memory and are grateful for the journey we shared with him,” the Samsung statement said. “Our deepest sympathies are with his family, relatives and those nearest. His legacy will be everlasting.”

Lee Kun-hee inherited control from his father and during his nearly 30 years of leadership, Samsung Electronics Co. became a global brand and the world’s largest maker of smartphones, televisions and memory chips. Samsung sells Galaxy phones while also making the screens and microchips that power its rivals, Apple’s iPhones and Google Android phones.

Samsung helped make the nation’s economy, Asia’s fourth-largest. Its businesses encompass shipbuilding, life insurance, construction, hotels, amusement park operation and more. Samsung Electronics alone accounts for 20% of the market capital on South Korea’s main stock market.

Lee leaves behind immense wealth, with Forbes estimating his fortune at $16 billion as of January 2017.

His death comes during a complex time for Samsung.

When he was hospitalized, Samsung’s once-lucrative mobile business faced threats from upstart makers in China and other emerging markets. Pressure was high to innovate its traditionally strong hardware business, to reform a stifling hierarchical culture and to improve its corporate governance and transparency.

Samsung was ensnared in the 2016-17 corruption scandal that led to then-President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment and imprisonment. Its executives, including the younger Lee, were investigated by prosecutors who believed Samsung executives bribed Park to secure the government’s backing for a smooth leadership transition from father to son.

In a previous scandal, Lee Kun-Hee was convicted in 2008 for illegal share dealings, tax evasion and bribery designed to pass his wealth and corporate control to his three children.

The late Lee was a stern, terse leader who focused on big-picture strategies, leaving details and daily management to executives.

His near-absolute authority allowed the company to make bold decisions in the fast-changing technology industry, such as shelling out billions to build new production lines for memory chips and display panels even as the 2008 global financial crisis unfolded. Those risky moves fueled Samsung’s rise.

Lee was born Jan. 9, 1942, in the southeastern city of Daegu during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. His father Lee Byung-chull had founded an export business there in 1938 and following the 1950-53 Korean War, he rebuilt the company into an electronics and home appliance manufacturer and the country’s first major trading company.

Lee Byung-chull was often called one of the fathers of modern industrial South Korea. Lee Kun-Hee was the third son and his inheritance of his father’s businesses bucked the tradition of family wealth going to the eldest. One of Lee Kun-Hee’s brothers sued for a bigger part of Samsung but lost the case.

When Lee Kun-Hee inherited control from his father in 1987, Samsung was relying on Japanese technology to produce TVs and was making its first steps into exporting microwaves and refrigerators.

The company was expanding its semiconductor factories after entering the business in 1974 by acquiring a near-bankrupt firm.

A decisive moment came in 1993. Lee Kun-Hee made sweeping changes to Samsung after a two-month trip abroad convinced him the company needed to improve the quality of its products.

In a speech to Samsung executives, he famously urged, “Let’s change everything except our wives and children.”

Not all his moves succeeded.

A notable failure was the group’s expansion into the auto industry in the 1990s, in part driven by Lee Kun-Hee’s passion for luxury cars. Samsung later sold near-bankrupt Samsung Motor to Renault. The company also was frequently criticized for disrespecting labour rights. Cancer cases among workers at its semiconductor factories were ignored for years.

In 2020, Lee Jae-yong declared heredity transfers at Samsung would end, promising the management rights he inherited wouldn’t pass to his children. He also said Samsung would stop suppressing employee attempts to organize unions, although labour activists questioned his sincerity.

South Koreans are both proud of Samsung’s global success and concerned the company and Lee family are above the law and influence over almost every corner of society.

Critics particularly note how Lee Kun-Hee’s only son gained immense wealth through unlisted shares of Samsung firms that later went public.

In 2007, a former company lawyer accused Samsung of wrongdoing in a book that became a bestseller in South Korea. Lee Kun-Hee was subsequently indicted on tax evasion and other charges.

Lee resigned as chairman of Samsung Electronics and was convicted and sentenced to a suspended three-year prison term. He received a presidential pardon in 2009 and returned to Samsung’s management in 2010.

This story contains biographical material compiled by former AP business writer YouKyung Lee.

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Eastern Ontario Health Unit imposes new COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants, gyms, fitness centres – CTV News Ottawa

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OTTAWA —
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is imposing new restrictions on food and drink establishments, sports and recreation facilities and personal care services in Alexandria, Cornwall, Casselman, Clarence-Rockland, Hawkesbury and other areas of eastern Ontario.

The new measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community were announced as Public Health Ontario reported 43 new cases of COVID-19 in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region on Saturday.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis issued a new Order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act that will come into effect on Monday, and remain in effect for 28 days.

“The last thing I want is for businesses in our community to have to shut their doors again as they did in the spring,” said Dr. Roumeliotis.

“By putting these new measures in place, I’m hoping we can stop the rising number of infections and prevent another shutdown that would hurt our economy.”

The new COVID-19 measures include limiting the number of people who can be seated at a table in bars and restaurants to a maximum of six people, while the total number of patrons in the indoor and outdoor sections of a food and drink establishment must not exceed 100.

Indoor dining at bars and restaurants in eastern Ontario is still allowed. 

For banquet halls, the total number of patrons permitted in the premises is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two meters, and in any event cannot exceed 50 indoors or 100 outdoors.

Establishments must also conduct a COVID-19 screening on every patron and record their name and contact information.

“This really mimics what happened on Oct. 2 when Ottawa, Toronto and Peel were put in these enhanced zones, before they were put into the red hot zone,” said Dr. Roumeliotis during a media conference late Friday.

“I think this is very fair request and saving closures.”

The new measures for indoor sports and recreational facilities include limiting the total number of people permitted in a class, organized program or organized activity to a maximum of 10 people, excluding instructors/trainers/coaches.. The total number of people permitted to be indoors at the facility in areas containing weights or exercise machines cannot exceed 50.

The order applies to gymnasiums, health clubs, community centres, multi-purpose facilities, arenas, exercise studios, yoga studios, dance studios, and other indoor fitness centres.

For personal care settings, including hair salons and barber shops, manicure and pedicure salons, spas and tanning salons, they must conduct a COVID-19 screening for every client and record their name and contact information.

Last Sunday, Dr. Roumeliotis told CTV News Ottawa the region may have to consider moving to a modified Stage 2, like Ottawa, due to rising COVID-19 cases.

On Thursday, the medical officer of health said he was no longer recommending eastern Ontario move into a modified Stage 2, but wanted to impose new restrictions on establishments to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Ontario introduced new restrictions on bars, restaurants, fitness centres and other recreation complexes in Ottawa on Oct. 2. On Oct. 10, the Ontario Government moved Ottawa into a modified Stage 2, which included prohibiting indoor dining at bars and restaurants, and closed gyms, fitness centres and movie theatres.

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Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, head of South Korea's biggest conglomerate, dies at 78 – Reuters

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SEOUL, Oct 25 (Reuters) – South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee died on Sunday, the company said.

Born in 1942, Lee helped grow his father Lee Byung-chull’s noodle trading business into South Korea’s biggest conglomerate. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim, Joyce Lee; Editing by William Mallard)

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