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Fraudulent certificates deemed invalid

The Government announced today the COVID-19 vaccination medical exemption certificates issued by seven private doctors will not be accepted and will be deemed invalid from October 12.   According to the information provided by Police, the seven private doctors are involved in its arrest operations to date for allegedly abusing the issuance of medical exemption certificates. The legal proceedings are ongoing for some of those cases.   The Government pointed out that according to the eHealth records, the seven private doctors have issued in total over 20,000 medical exemption certificates which are still within the validity period, accounting for more than half of the medical exemption certificates that are still valid.   It has reasonable grounds to suspect that the private doctors concerned did not properly follow the Department of Health’s guidelines when issuing the medical exemption certificates.   In this regard, the Government will no longer accept the medical exemption ce

July retail sales up 2.9%

The value of total retail sales in July, provisionally estimated at $27.2 billion, rose 2.9% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in July, online sales accounted for 7.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.1 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 29% year-on-year.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month increased 0.9% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts increased 27.1%.   This was followed by sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+15.8% in value); wearing apparel (+30.7%); medicines and cosmetics (+0.5%); motor vehicles and parts (+25%); fuels (+12.8%); furniture and fixtures (+0.6%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+9.8%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+30.5%); and optical shops (+8.9%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 19.4% for the period, followed by sales of commodities in department stores (-9.6% in value); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-5.7%); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (-2.5%); and Chinese drugs and herbs (-2.3%).   The Government said that retail sales continued to increase in July over a year earlier as the local epidemic remained stable and labour market situations improved further, although the growth pace moderated as compared to the preceding month.   Looking ahead, the Government noted that the electronic consumption vouchers that it began to disburse in August have helped stimulate consumption sentiment and will render support to the retail business in the rest of the year.   However, it is essential for the community to keep the epidemic under control and strive towards more widespread vaccination so as to strengthen the foundation for continued recovery of the retail sector and the overall economy, it added.
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