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SMS sender scheme expanded

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) announced today that the SMS Sender Registration Scheme is now open for application by all sectors to further help the public verify the identities of SMS senders, with a view to combatting SMS fraud.   Apart from further opening up the scheme, the OFCA said it welcomes public and private organisations from various industries with a practical need to communicate with customers or clients via SMS to join the scheme.   Under the scheme, only registered senders are able to send SMS messages using their registered SMS sender IDs with the prefix “#”. All other SMS messages with sender IDs containing “#” but not sent by registered senders will be blocked by the telecommunications networks.   As such, the public can easily identify whether an SMS message is received from a registered sender by the prefix “#” in the SMS sender ID.   The OFCA reminds citizens to stay highly vigilant when receiving SMS messages from unknown sender

CE visits testing centres

Chief Executive Carrie Lam visited five community testing centres across the city on the first day of the Lunar New Year to thank personnel on duty for their hard work.   Accompanied by Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan, Mrs Lam visited community testing centres at Shek Tong Tsui Sports Centre in Central & Western District, Wai Tsuen Sports Centre in Tsuen Wan, Lai King Community Hall, Ma On Shan Sports Centre and Morse Park Sports Centre in Wong Tai Sin to learn about their operations during the Lunar New Year.    Mrs Lam thanked staff members of the testing agencies, and members of the Government, who manage the venues for continuing to serve the public during the holidays.   She also thanked members of the public who got tested at the centres.   The five community testing centres Mrs Lam visited are operated by five private testing agencies, which have been helping the Government provide free compulsory tests and tests for target groups as well as self-paid services to tens of thousands of people over the past few months.   They are vital partners of the Government in the fight against the epidemic. Since last November, the testing agencies have conducted about 900,000 tests at various community testing centres and have identified about 900 confirmed cases for follow-up by the Centre for Health Protection.   Mrs Lam said the testing agencies played an important role in the intensive restriction-testing declaration operations conducted by the Government over the past two weeks.   They were required to set up specimen collection stations at relevant locations within a short period, and complete testing and release test results within a specified time frame in order to minimise the impact of the operations on members of the public.   During the 26 restriction-testing declaration operations, the testing agencies conducted virus tests for about 25,000 members of the public, identifying 20 confirmed cases.   The Chief Executive said that although the local epidemic situation has gradually eased, the Government cannot let up on testing, adding all 19 community testing centres will continue to operate during the holidays.   While the Government is gearing up for the vaccination programme, virus testing is still crucial in the fight against the disease, Mrs Lam said.   “I appeal to people to take tests, regardless of whether they are subject to compulsory testing or fall within the target groups, to contribute to the fight against the epidemic.    “Many people still have to work to fight the virus during the Lunar New Year holidays. I hope that members of the public can also show support with actions such as going out less, avoiding gatherings during the holidays and maintaining personal hygiene, so that Hong Kong can get through the epidemic early and people's normal lives can resume as soon as possible.”
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