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CE begins visit to Xi'an

Chief Executive Carrie Lam left Chongqing for Xi'an today and began her visit programme in Shaanxi Province.   After arriving in Xi'an, she met Shaanxi Governor Zhao Yide and attended a lunch he hosted.   Mrs Lam said she was pleased to visit Shaanxi for the first time as Chief Executive and congratulated Shaanxi on the successful hosting of the 14th National Games.   She expressed hope that Shaanxi would share its valuable experience, enabling the governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Guangdong Province and the Macau SAR to do a good job in hosting the 15th National Games in 2025.   Noting that Shaanxi is a key link for the nation's Belt & Road Initiative with its rich cultural history, the Chief Executive said the two places can build on the close trade and economic ties to enhance collaboration to contribute to the initiative and promote arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.   She added that the Hong Kong

Frontline health staff get regular tests

The Hospital Authority today said it will arrange regular COVID-19 testing for around 65,000 frontline staff who have direct patient contact.   It said the move aims to reduce the risk of nosocomial COVID-19 transmission to safeguard patients and staff in light of the latest global epidemic situation and the emergence of local cases with mutant strains.    Starting next week, the authority will extend the staff testing arrangement by providing the frontline staff concerned with rapid antigen test kits for conducting weekly self-testing on a regular basis.   Staff members can report their test results through a mobile app designated for the authority’s staff or save a photo record themselves.   Staff who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for more than 14 days can indicate their preference for participation in the regular testing exercise.   Additionally, the authority will step up the patient isolation arrangement. Single isolation will be arranged for all patients confirmed with COVID-19 infection upon their admission, with gene sequencing tests arranged immediately.   Imported patient cases will be kept in single isolation until they are discharged upon recovery.   Local cases will also be kept in single isolation until discharge, unless they test negative for mutant strains through gene sequencing tests.   The authority reminded hospital clusters to prepare for deploying adequate single isolation facilities to dovetail with the stepped-up arrangement.   It also reminded frontline staff that they still need to comply with infection control measures and wear appropriate personal protective equipment as stipulated in the guidelines when taking care of patients.   The authority reminded citizens and staff to get vaccinated early to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and prevent the resurgence of a large-scale community outbreak.
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