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13 building plans approved in Nov

The Buildings Department approved 13 building plans in November - two on Hong Kong Island, six in Kowloon and five in the New Territories.   Of the approved plans, eight were for apartment and apartment-commercial developments, two for commercial developments, one for factory and industrial developments, and two for community services developments.   Consent was given for works to start on 11 building projects which will provide 210,471 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 2,595 units and 83,060 sq m for non-domestic use.   Additionally, the department received notification of commencement of superstructure works for nine building projects.   The department also issued 16 occupation permits - three on Hong Kong Island, five in Kowloon and eight in the New Territories.   Buildings certified for occupation have 53,034 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 1,355 units and 168,627 sq m for non-domestic use. http://dlvr.it/Sh3Dtw

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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