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Jab pass plan to expand

The vaccine pass arrangement will be implemented in designated healthcare premises under the Food & Health Bureau, the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority (HA) starting June 13, the Government announced today.   The vaccine pass arrangement is applicable to the 13 types of designated healthcare premises primarily providing non-emergency or non-urgent medical services through appointments, such as HA specialist out-patient clinics, and government dental clinics and orthodontic clinics.   Service users and visitors at designated healthcare premises must present upon request their vaccination record, including recovery record, medical exemption certificate, or the negative result proof of a nucleic acid test that is only applicable to service users for staff members' checking. There is no need to scan the vaccine pass QR code.   Service users and visitors who enter the designated healthcare premises for collecting RAT kits, undergoing COVID-19 testing or receivin

Virus testing services enhanced

The Government today said the supply of COVID-19 testing services is being further enhanced to cope with the increasing demand for testing in order to meet anti-epidemic goals and facilitate the public.   The move was made having regard to the recent higher risk of transmission and infection in different premises or groups and the implementation of strengthened anti-epidemic measures for the resumption of economic and social activities.   Various groups can undergo testing through the free testing service and other channels.   At present, employees of scheduled premises and catering businesses, construction site workers, school staff, as well as local residents and staff subject to compulsory testing may receive free testing at community testing centres.   The number of tests available for appointments at community testing centres has been greatly increased to over 32,000 per day.   The appointment rate of the city's 19 community testing centres for the next seven days is only about 30%, with plenty of places available to meet the demand.   Moreover, about 20 mobile specimen collection stations are in service to provide free testing to the public. Some of them are dedicated to providing services to staff in catering businesses and scheduled premises under the Prevention & Control of Disease (Requirements & Directions) (Business & Premises) Regulation only.   The testing capacity should be sufficient to meet the demand of the relevant sectors. Staff from these sectors may get tested for free at community testing centres and mobile specimen collection stations in various districts.   In addition, they may also undergo testing through other channels, including obtaining deep throat saliva (DTS) collection packs at post offices, MTR stations or designated Hospital Authority (HA) general outpatient clinics, and return the DTS specimen to one of the more than 80 designated collection points.   Over the past few weeks, the Government has distributed an average of some 60,000 specimen collection packs daily, and the number of specimen bottles collected per day was about 27,000, which is less than half of the amount distributed.   The Government calls on the public and organisations to refrain from collecting more packs than needed so that others in need can also obtain them for testing.       Regarding the prolonged turnaround time of an HA testing contractor caused by an influx of testing demand within a short period of time, according to the concerned laboratory's report, the backlog has been cleared and the turnaround time for testing results has resumed normal to within 48 hours as per the contract requirement.   The Government and HA have increased the number of contractors and streamlined the distribution of the specimen bottles to different contractors. At present, most of the citizens who return the DTS specimen bottles can receive testing results within two to three days.
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