Hong Kong in News Online & the Economy

Shares in Chinese Pharma Firm Tank as Covid Medicine Questioned

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Shares in one of China’s largest traditional medicine producers plunged on Monday after reports questioned the efficacy of pills approved by the government as a coronavirus treatment. Online News

Shanghai authorities have joined their Hong Kong counterparts in handing out ‘Lianhua Qingwen’ — a herbal remedy marketed for fever and sore throats — as the cities battle their worst Covid-19 outbreaks since the pandemic’s start.

But on Sunday, popular Chinese health platform Dingxiang Yisheng said the capsules, made by Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical, could not prevent cases of the virus, in a report then picked up by state media.

Monday’s share dump sent them falling to 32.39 yuan ($5) with the stocks hitting the daily limit of 10 percent on the Shenzhen exchange.

Last week, Wang Sicong, an influencer and son of one of China’s wealthiest scions, ignited debate about the drug on Weibo when he reposted a social media video questioning whether the World Health Organization had ever recommended it for use against Covid-19.

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The United States and other countries have warned there is no evidence the medicine works to prevent or cure coronavirus, even as it has increasingly been promoted by government authorities in China and Hong Kong.

Junk boat crossing Hong Kong harbor.

The US Food and Drug Administration has said it has not approved Lianhua Qingwen, and that coronavirus-related claims about it were “not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence”.

In 2020, Beijing approved the remedy — initially developed for SARS and made up of ingredients like honeysuckle and apricot seeds — as a coronavirus treatment.

In financial centres Hong Kong and Shanghai, which are struggling to quash fast-spreading Omicron-fuelled surges, boxes of Lianhua Qingwen tablets have been included in government care packages.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam even claimed last month that traditional Chinese medicine may be more effective than Western medicine at preventing Covid and accelerating recovery.

Shanghai, China’s largest city, has been locked down since March as cases have topped 25,000 a day — low compared with parts of the world now living with the virus, but virtually unheard of under China’s “zero-Covid” strategy.

At the peak of its Omicron-driven outbreak last month, Hong Kong was recording one of the world’s highest mortality rates from the virus.


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Notes from APS Radio News

Since December of 2020, when the experimental mRNA vaccine was introduced to the public, Eudravigilance of the European Medicines Agency has recorded nearly 4 million injuries and in excess of 42,000 deaths following injections.

In the US, VAERS, which records similar statistics, reports that since December 2020 about 1 million injuries have been recorded.

In the US, pharmaceutical companies that make and distribute vaccine are immune from lawsuits, for example, in situations when children have experienced injuries following injections.

Concerning effectiveness, whereas as of November 17, 2021 Gibraltar had recorded 6,509 cases, as of April 11, 2022 Gibraltar recorded 17,236 cases.

For much of the past year, Gibraltar has had a vaccine participation rate of at least 100%.

Israel, which started mass vaccinations earlier than most other nations, has seen an increase in the number of cases.

In particular, whereas as of May 7, 2021 Israel recorded 838,850 virus cases, as of April 18, 2022 Israel recorded 3,997,863 virus cases.

Israel has a vaccination rate of about 72% (partially and fully vaccinated). Sixty-six percent of Israelis are fully vaccinated.

This pattern has been seen in a number of countries.

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