Authorities Remove Statue of Uyghur Medicine ‘Pioneer’ From Xinjiang Hospital



Radio Free Asia

2020-11-30 — Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have removed the statue of a progenitor of Uyghur medicinal science from the site of a hospital in the capital Urumqi, as part of what observers say is an ongoing campaign to eradicate the ethnic group’s culture.

Ghazibay, who lived in present-day Hotan (in Chinese, Hetian) between 460 and 375 B.C., was the author of a famous medical treatise—the modern Uyghur-language title of which translates as “Ghazibay’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicines.”

A listener recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service that a statue of Ghazibay, whose work documenting medicinal herbs is believed to have drawn disciples of Plato to the Tarim Basin, was taken down from in front of the XUAR Hospital of Uyghur Medicine sometime after authorities launched a campaign of extralegal incarceration in the region in early 2017. Up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are believed to have been detained in a vast network of internment camps since then.

RFA was able to determine from images taken in front of the hospital that the statue was removed sometime between Oct. 26, 2017 and March 9, 2018.

Additionally, a video produced by the hospital that began circulating on Aug. 16, 2019 shows doctors and other hospital staff participating in a flag-raising ceremony and singing “red,” or patriotic, songs in front of the main building, where the statue is nowhere to be found. Details of the hospital grounds visible in the film suggest that the site where the statue once stood now serves as a dedicated space for such forms of compulsory political education.

RFA spoke with a nurse at the XUAR Hospital of Uyghur Medicine who confirmed that the statue, which she said was erected in late 2015 or early 2016 following the multi-year construction of a new 17-story main building on the hospital grounds, had been removed from the site as part of a “standardization” process for medical centers in the capital.

“It happened at the end of [2017],” she said. “Because we’re a large hospital, they were starting to reorganize things related to Uyghur medicine and Uyghur culture at the time.”

While the nurse said she was unaware of the reason for the statue’s removal, her use of the term “reorganize” suggests that it was part of an elimination drive by authorities.

‘A pioneer in Uyghur medicine’

RFA spoke with Mutellip Elihajim, who has served as the leader of a group conducting research on Uyghur medicine since relocating to Turkey from the XUAR in 2016, about Ghazibay and his contributions to the science.

According to Elihajim, everyone in the field of Uyghur medicine knows the figure of Ghazibay because his biography is considered so essential that it is the basis of a lesson in the curricula of medical schools.

“We introduced Ghazibay [to students] as a pioneer in Uyghur medicine,” said Elihajim, who before leaving Xinjiang for Turkey had worked in the field for more than 30 years, with stints teaching at the Hotan Prefectural

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US Authorities Warn Of ‘Imminent’ Cyber Threat To Hospitals

US security authorities warned Wednesday of an “imminent cybercrime threat” to hospitals and healthcare providers, urging them to increase their protection.

An advisory released by the FBI and two other government agencies said they had “credible information” that hackers were targeting the healthcare sector using malware, “often leading to ransomware attacks, data theft, and the disruption of healthcare services.”

The threat comes as US hospitals grapple with rising numbers of coronavirus cases, during a pandemic which has so far killed more than 226,000 people in the country.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software used by cybercriminals to encrypt users’ files until a ransom is paid.

Healthcare institutions have been frequent victims of ransomware for several years in the US and globally.

US federal agencies warned hackers were targeting the healthcare sector using malware that can lead to ransomware attacks US federal agencies warned hackers were targeting the healthcare sector using malware that can lead to ransomware attacks Photo: AFP / NICOLAS ASFOURI

Last month, a suspected ransomware attack disrupted patient care at a large chain of hospitals and clinics operating in the United States and Britain.

In 2017, the UK’s national healthcare system was one of the victims in a wave of global ransomware attacks, prompting some of its hospitals to divert ambulances and scrap operations.

The federal agencies urged US healthcare providers to take “timely and reasonable precautions” to protect their networks.

They encouraged healthcare providers to patch their operating systems, software and firmware as soon as possible, and to conduct antivirus and anti-malware scans regularly.

The agencies also recommended changing passwords regularly and using multi-factor authentication.

Copyright AFP. All rights reserved.

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Nicox’s NCX 470 Receives Approval by Chinese Authorities for Local Start of Mont Blanc Phase 3 Trial

 

October 26, 2020 – release at 7:30 am
Sophia Antipolis, France

 

Nicox SA (Euronext Paris: FR0013018124, COX), an international ophthalmology company, today announced that its partner, Ocumension Therapeutics, has received approval from China’s Center for Drug Evaluation of the National Medical Products Administration to carry out the Chinese part of the ongoing Mont Blanc trial, the first Phase 3 clinical trial on NCX 470 for the lowering of intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

 

NCX 470, Nicox’s lead clinical product candidate, is a novel second generation nitric oxide (NO)-donating bimatoprost analog exclusively licensed to Ocumension Therapeutics for the Chinese, Korean and South East Asian markets.

 

Dr. José Boyer, VP and Interim Head of R&D at Nicox, said: “We are pleased with this second Chinese IND approval in our collaboration with Ocumension.  NCX 470 development remains on track, with first results from the Mont Blanc trial expected in Q4 2021.  Initiation of Chinese sites in this trial will be essential in preparing the way for Denali, the second Phase 3 trial with NCX 470, which will include a larger number of Chinese patients.”

 

The Press Release by Ocumension can be found here:

The NCX 470 Mont Blanc Phase 3 clinical trial is a 3-month trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of NCX 470 ophthalmic solution, 0.1%, versus the current standard of care, latanoprost ophthalmic solution, 0.005%, for the lowering of IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.  The Mont Blanc trial is expected to randomize approximately 670 patients, at around 50 clinical sites in the U.S. and at a small number of clinical sites in China.  The Mont Blanc trial was initiated in the U.S. in June 2020 and top-line results are currently expected in Q4 2021. 

Nicox and Ocumension will jointly fund the second NCX 470 Phase 3 glaucoma trial, Denali, which is expected to start by end of 2020 and will also evaluate NCX 470 ophthalmic solution, 0.1%, versus latanoprost ophthalmic solution, 0.005%.  The Denali trial will include clinical sites in both the U.S. and China, with the large majority of the patients to be recruited in the U.S.  The Denali trial was designed to fulfill the regulatory requirements to support New Drug Application (NDA) filings in the U.S. and China.

 

NCX 470 is a novel, potential best-in-class, second generation nitric oxide (NO)-donating bimatoprost analog in development to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.  Glaucoma is a group of ocular diseases in which the optic nerve is injured, leading to peripheral and, ultimately, central visual field loss and it can eventually lead to blindness if not treated. It is frequently linked to abnormally high IOP (~90% of patients) due to blockage or malfunction of the eye’s aqueous humor drainage system in the front of the eye.  In 2019, worldwide sales of treatments targeting glaucoma were over $6.0 billion out of a $21.9 billion worldwide market for ophthalmic drugs. 

NCX 470 is designed

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South Korean authorities stick to flu vaccine plan after deaths rise to 48

By Heekyong Yang

SEOUL (Reuters) – The number of South Koreans who have died after getting flu shots has risen to 48, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said on Saturday, adding that the vaccines would continue to reduce the chance of having simultaneous epidemics.

The health authorities said they found no direct link between the deaths and the shots. They plan to carry on with the state-run vaccination programme to try to avoid having to fight both the flu and the coronavirus over the coming winter.

“After reviewing death cases so far, it is not the time to suspend a flu vaccination programme since vaccination is very crucial this year, considering … the COVID-19 outbreaks,” KDCA Director Jeong Eun-kyung told a briefing.

Jeong said the review had shown no direct link between the flu shots and the 26 deaths that have been investigated.

Some 20 initial autopsy results from the police and the National Forensic Service showed that 13 people died of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and other disorders not caused by the vaccination.

The death toll among those who have been vaccinated rose by 12 cases from a day earlier to 48 on Saturday.

The rising deaths have caused some doctors and politicians to call for a halt to the government campaign to vaccinate about 30 million of the country’s 54 million people.

While encouraging people to get flu vaccines, Jeong issued precautions to take before getting the shot, such as drinking enough water and telling healthcare workers about any underlying medical conditions. She also advised people to wait 15-30 minutes before leaving the clinic where they receive their vaccine.

“If possible, try to get the flu shot when it’s warm, since there are concerns that low temperatures could affect cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular disease,” she said.

The KDCA said 9.4 million people had been inoculated as of Friday in the programme that began in September, with 1,154 cases of adverse reactions.

South Korea reported 77 new coronavirus cases as of Friday midnight, bringing total infections to 25,775, with 457 deaths.

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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New drug called ‘purple heroin’ claims life in Jefferson Parish, authorities say | Crime/Police

Louisiana officials have reported the state’s first death linked to a new drug called “purple heroin.”

The death was in Jefferson Parish, authorities said Thursday morning. They didn’t release any more information about who died or what happened.

About 30 deaths linked to purple heroin have been reported in the U.S., including in Michigan, Arizona and Minnesota, according to Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich. 

Purple heroin consists of fentanyl, acetaminophen, which is used to treat pain and fevers, and a new drug called brorphine, among other substances.

Brorphine is a synthetic opioid, which Cvitanovich said is “just as potent and dangerous as fentanyl, making it up to 100X more potent than morphine.”

“This drug has the potential to cause widespread harm and is of public health concern,” Cvitanovich said. “The public should be on full alert due to the extreme danger of this drug.”

Purple heroin is commonly packaged as a purple crystal or powder, but has also been seen as a gray or white powder, Cvitanovich said.

Brorphine was first cited in a scientific report in 2018, according to information from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. And the Michigan State Police discovered the drug in May, Michigan officials said.

It wasn’t immediately clear when Louisiana officials began tracking it.

Brorphine is not authorized for any medical uses nor easily discernable in normal hospital blood tests, according to Varun Vohra, a director of the Michigan Poison Center at Wayne State University in Michigan.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Carlie Kollath Wells is a morning reporter at NOLA.com and The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate.

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