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Drivers given online option for permits

Members of the public can now apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) through an online service launched today by the Transport Department.   Users of “iAM Smart+” or eligible applicants holding a valid personal digital certificate may apply online via the GovHK website and receive their IDP by post, without the need to visit a licensing office in person.   If the submitted documents and photograph are in order, the department will normally send successful applicants their IDP by registered post within 10 working days of the online application being made.   The department reminded those who plan to drive outside of Hong Kong to allow sufficient time for the IDP applications to be processed.   Citizens may continue to submit IDP applications by visiting licensing offices in person. Appointments can be booked online or by calling 3763 8080 to save queuing time.   Drivers may also send in their IDP applications by post or via the drop-in boxes placed at licensi

Isolation discharge criteria revised

The Government announced that from tomorrow, the criteria for releasing COVID-19 patients from isolation will be updated and the discharge criteria will be tightened.   The revised discharge criteria for symptomatic patients includes no fever for at least three days, having significantly improved respiratory symptoms and significant improvement in lung infiltrates in chest imaging.   These patients also have to meet designated laboratory criteria. They need to have two clinical specimens of the same type that tested negative for nucleic acid of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) taken at least 24 hours apart.   For patients with stool specimen(s) that tested positive, the laboratory criteria are two negative stool specimens collected 24 hours apart before release from isolation.   There should also be 10 days that have passed since the onset of illness for these patients.   For patients who did not develop any COVID-19 compatible symptoms all along, the laboratory criteria are two clinical specimens of the same type that tested negative for nucleic acid of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR taken at least 24 hours apart.   Those whose stool specimen(s) tested positive, the laboratory criteria are two negative stool specimens collected 24 hours apart before release from isolation.   There should also be 10 days that have passed after the first positive RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 for these patients.   Patients fulfilling the discharge criteria will immediately be arranged by point-to-point transfer to designated isolation facilities to undergo 14-day isolation and health monitoring through closed-loop management.   The arrangement is to ensure they do not bring the virus into the community. The North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre is designated as the isolation facility.        The Department of Health will extend the isolation orders of patients who meet the discharge criteria pursuant to the power under the Prevention & Control of Disease Regulation until 14 days after discharge.

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