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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

Govt work arrangements explained

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   Chief Executive Carrie Lam today said having considered the situation, it is not entirely realistic to have some civil servants work from home, adding that the Government has no plan to suspend face-to-face classes for the time being.   Mrs Lam told a press conference that civil servants have duties to perform in handling the COVID-19 epidemic, but she encouraged the private sector to adopt work from home arrangements wherever possible.   “I would encourage private companies to allow their employees, wherever possible, to work from home, because the ultimate objective is to reduce people flow, to reduce congestion on public transport and hence to reduce the chance of infection.   “But for civil servants to work from home, our experience is that we have a lot of civil servants who have duties to do. And in dealing with this epidemic, there are even more duties for the civil servants to do.   “If you go visit one of those (places to enforce) restriction-testing (declarations) in a district, in a small area or in buildings, we have to mobilise hundreds of civil servants and staff to operate.   “So it is not entirely realistic to carve out some of the civil servants who could work from home.”   The Civil Service Bureau will advise various departments to allow staff who are able to deliver the service without having to be in the office to work from home, she added.   As regards maintaining the current class arrangements, Mrs Lam said the decision was made for the benefit and interest of the students.   “Not to allow young students to come to school, not having this face-to-face learning, is significantly affecting their health - whether it is their mental health or their physical health.   “And schools have been highly co-operative in arranging the resumption of these classes for a very long time and so far, they have been working well.   “So for the time being, we feel that (our decision is) for the benefit and the interest of the children - and of course also their parents - because if the kids are not going to school and the parents could not look after them, there will be major problems as well. So for the time being, we are not suspending classes.”
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