SEOUL (South Korea): Nearly 4,000 cured COVID-19 patients from a single religious organization have committed to voluntarily donate their plasma for the development of a vaccine. The organization called Shincheonji Church and its members were most affected during the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea.
An official of Green Cross Pharma, a South Korean biopharmaceutical company, said, “Plasma donations from healthy patients from Shincheonji Church will solve the problem of lack of blood for research.”
According to Green Cross, only 195 people in Korea had so far expressed their intention to donate blood plasma for research. But 43 of them were considered unsuitable for charity.
At a time when plasma donations have been scarce and extremely valuable, prices of plasma range anywhere from $350 to $40,000 dollars per millilitre. This sets Shincheonji Church’s donation at a value of about $83 billion. This is by far the biggest collective effort made by any organization in the world towards COVID-19 research & development. And the medical fraternity in South Korea and across the world have deeply appreciated this gesture from Shincheonji Church.
According to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), out of a total of 12,484 cases in the country, at least 5,213 cases have been linked to church outbreaks.
Brief Background of the spread of COVID-19 in South Korea
In February and March, South Korea became the scene of a large outbreak outside China when unknowingly a massive outbreak occurred among members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
And even though Shincheonji Church was at the centre of this epidemic, patient-31, who happened to be a congregation member of the church had no travel history outside of Korea.
COVID-19 arrived in Korea as there were no restrictions to block foreign entrants. To hide this, some forces needed an organization to blame. They held the Shincheonji Church responsible for the outbreak of the epidemic and made the Shincheonji Church a victim. Shincheonji Church is one of the minor religious groups which became a major victim of COVID-19 with over 4,000 of its members being infected with the virus. It was not members of Shincheonji Church who went to China and brought the virus into the country. The virus came in South Korea because of foreign entries from China which the government was unable to contain in its initial stages. The church and its members are a victim and the government, instead of protecting them, is treating them like criminals.
Since the church is not part of the mainstream churches in South Korea, even the society is happy to make it as a scapegoat. As a result, thousands of discrimination cases were reported among the congregation members after the mass infection.
Furthermore, the Korean government and the government of Daegu city charged legal liability for damage caused by COVID-19 pandemic on the church just because many people from the church were infected.
It is absurd to blame any organization for the legal, economic, and quarantine responsibilities of the loss from COVID-19. COVID-19 did not even originate in South Korea. But public opinion is being used to criticize the Shincheonji Church. More than 6,000 cases of human rights violations have already been reported in the Republic of Korea this year, but the government and media are silent about this.
This is what politics and media have done to religion. If this is neglected and overlooked now, then politics will use religion continuously as their scapegoat for other crises too.
The Detrimental Effects When Politics Mixes with Religion
The Constitution of the Republic of Korea clearly states in Article 20 Clauses 1 and 2 that “All citizens shall enjoy the freedom of religion,” and that “No state religion shall be recognized, and religion and state shall be separated”. But these human rights are being violated as the mainstream religious denominations in South Korea joined hands with those with political powers including President of South Korea (along with the Mayor of Seoul, the Governor of Gyeonggi Province, and ministers, among others) and revoked the licenses of the church to operate as a religious organization while accusing them of deliberately spreading the virus. The Korean politicians, with their biased motives, are revoking the licenses and persecuting Shincheonji Church to gain more votes in election seasons. They are further victimizing the victims of COVID-19 and using them as their scapegoat in order to cover their own faults.
Several NGOs in association with the United Nations and religious communities in the globe are raising their voices on the need to correct inappropriate persecution and human rights violation against a religious group in South Korea named Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
By referring to the report from United States of America Commission of International Religious Freedom, the report to the UN said, “Shincheonji was suffering harassment from the South Korean government and society. Although some government measures appeared to be driven by legitimate public health concerns, others appeared to exaggerate the church’s role in the outbreak.”
“The government of Seoul locked down Shincheonji churches in the capital, and some mainline Protestant groups have accused the church of deliberately spreading the disease,” it continued.
The report stated, “The virus cannot be an excuse to violate human rights and religious liberty of hundreds of thousands of believers. Intolerance, violence, and discrimination against Shincheonji should be put to an end.”
“The news of Chairman Lee and Shincheonji are being singled out and blamed for COVID-19 spread and sued is deeply concerning to all faith leaders who valued freedom of religion and the protection of human rights. This adverse action shall have chilling repercussions through the religious world,” said Mr Sheikh Musa Drammeh, Chairman of Islamic Cultural Center of North America.
Even Amidst Persecution, Chairman of Shincheonji, Man Hee Lee encourages members to donate plasma
Despite facing numerous public outrages, more than 4000 members of Shincheonji’s congregation recently promised to donate plasma for the development of the drug for COVID-19.
Church founder Lee Man-Hee internally advised recovered members from COVID-19 to donate their plasma, which is desperately needed for Coronovirus research.
Many members of the church wanted to give donations to express thanks to the government and medical staff.
He said that there have been political motives in the persecution of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL (a peace NGO) by “using us (Shincheonji), the victims of COVID-19, as their scapegoat in order to hide their own faults.” He added, “Persecuting peace organizations, religious organizations, and violating human rights must be stopped in Korea.”
Disclaimer: This is an unpaid press release by Shincheonji India. Readers’ discretion is advised while consuming the views expressed in the release.
Apple Online Store Launches In India On September 23
The Apple Store online is the most convenient destination to shop for Apple products.
Mumbai, India — Apple will launch the Apple Store online in India on September 23, offering Apple’s full range of products and support directly to customers across the country for the first time. The new online store will provide customers with the same premium experience found in Apple store locations around the world, delivered by online team members who are ready to offer their expertise.
“We’re proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time.”
The Apple Store online is the most convenient destination to shop for Apple products, with online Apple Specialists available to help with anything from custom-configuring any Mac to setting up new devices. Customers can get advice, receive guidance, and learn about new products directly from Apple, both in English and Hindi.
With financing options and an available trade-in program, the Apple Store online offers a range of affordability options. Students can shop for a Mac or iPad with special pricing, and receive discounts on accessories and AppleCare+.
In October, customers can expect free online Today at Apple sessions led by local Creative Pros, focused on photography and music. Just in time for the festive season, signature gift wrap and personalized engraving will be available for select products. Engraving of emoji or text in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu will be available for AirPods, and English engraving will be available for iPad and Apple Pencil.
For the health and well-being of Apple’s teams, customers, and communities, all orders from the Apple Store online will ship with contactless delivery. Orders that do not require a signature will be left at the customer’s door, and those that do will need only a verbal confirmation from a safe distance instead of a written signature.
Apple has been operating in India for more than 20 years, and the company’s ongoing investment and innovation support almost 900,000 jobs across the country. Apple’s App Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru has supported thousands of local developers, and today apps created by developers in India have become even more critical to everyday life as people seek to stay engaged and connected from home. Among them are Wysa, an AI-based app that is making it possible for millions of people to get mental wellness support in an affordable and accessible way, and the yoga app YogiFi, which uses computer vision for real-time posture correction and machine learning to curate personalized yoga plans, helping users stay healthy and active from the comfort of their homes.
As COVID-19 presents immense challenges and uncertainties for communities across the country, Apple’s teams are supporting local organizations to provide remote learning with study guides and curricula.
Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s five software platforms — iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud.
Disclaimer: This is an unpaid/public press release by Apple Inc. Readers’ discretion is advised while consuming the content of the release.
American Oncology Institute at Nangia Specialty Hospital Launches Breast Cancer Clinic
An initiative to ensure, patients get access to affordable treatment from diagnosis to comprehensive treatment options. (PR)
NAGPUR (Maharashtra): American Oncology Institute (AOI) at Nangia Specialty Hospital has launched a new Breast Cancer Clinic to provide quality care with an affordable treatment plan.
This service helps and support patients with any breast-related queries and ensures awareness of comprehensive breast cancer screening.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Our clinic ensures, people understand the importance of regular cancer screening and benefit the state-of-the-art cancer treatment at an affordable cost. This will help us to treat patients sooner and with greater precision”, says Dr Amit Dhawan, Regional Director, American Oncology Institute, Nagpur.
As an introductory package, the Hospital is offering “Beat Breast Cancer Package”, which includes Clinical and Diagnostic examination (FNAC or biopsy, mammography or USG) for Rs 2000/- with free doctor consultation till September 30, 2020.
A strong team of doctors comprising of Surgical, Medical and Radiation oncologists, along with a group of trained nurses ensures the patient receives the best medical care possible.
American Oncology Institute is the leading cancer care provider across South Asia operating a chain of cancer hospitals in multiple cities across South Asia. AOI today is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR).
The team of clinical, paraclinical and healthcare operations experts pride themselves with the aim of closing the gap between standards of cancer care in South Asia and the developed cancer hospitals in the West.
AOI provides comprehensive cancer management that is powered by clinical excellence, world-class technology as well as best in class clinical pathways and protocols for treatment planning and execution, providing best-in-class quality in cancer care across South Asia.
Disclaimer: This is an unpaid press release by American Oncology Institute. Readers’ discretion is advised while consuming the content of the release.
9 Indian Schools In World’s Biggest Grassroots Online Education Conference
Each will share their wisdom to an online audience expected to reach 100,000 worldwide.
Nine outstanding Indian schools, from kindergarten and primary level to senior secondary, have been selected for a ground-breaking new grassroots education event – World Education Week – to be held online in October.
Each school is to play a starring role in what is billed as the ‘world’s biggest education conference’, a key ingredient in a showcase of 100 schools which will gather online to share expertise and best practices in the inaugural World Education Week, from October 5-9, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Quality Education (SDG 4).
The selected hundred schools have been hand-picked for their expertise across a range of educational themes, such as enhancing employability and life-skills; deepening family and community engagement; the use of technology; a focus on wellbeing; and promoting the science of learning and teaching.
Each will share their wisdom to an online audience expected to reach 100,000 worldwide.
The ambition driving World Education Week is to accelerate progress to achieve UN SDG 4, a commitment designed to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.
The Indian schools are:
- The TSWRS Chevella Freedom School in Moinabad, Rangareddy
- The School of Excellence in Khichripur, New Delhi
- Choitram School, in Indore
- Mahatma Vidyalaya in Muthanallur, Bangalore
- The iTeach RSM English Medium Secondary School in Mundhwa, Pune
- The Government Primary School near Udaipur
- The Riverside School in Ahmedabad
- Samaritan Mission School (High) in Howrah, Kolkata
- Zilla Parishad Primary School, Kallekhetpada, in the Nandurbar
Centred on the theme of ‘Learning Today’, each school will host a virtual event to demonstrate how to bring change, based on their own experiences.
Disclaimer: This is an unpaid press release by Toby Burnham Communications, United Kingdom. Readers’ discretion is advised while consuming the content of the release.
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