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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

June retail sales up 5.8%

The value of total retail sales in June, provisionally estimated at $28.1 billion, rose 5.8% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in June, online sales accounted for 8.1%. Provisionally estimated at $2.3 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 63.8% 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 2.8% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified increased 16%.   This was followed by sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+31.8% in value); wearing apparel (+18.8%); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (+10.6%); medicines and cosmetics (+8.9%); motor vehicles and parts (+36%); fuels (+5.1%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+10.8%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+6.8%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 7% for the period, followed by sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-1.6% in value); commodities in department stores (-20.3% in value); furniture and fixtures (-3.6%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-1.8%) and optical shops (-2.7%).   The Government said that retail sales further increased in June on a year-on-year basis as consumption demand revived further alongside the stable local epidemic and improved labour market situations.   For the second quarter as a whole, retail sales volume grew by 3.6% over the preceding quarter after seasonal adjustment, but it still stayed far below the pre-recession level with incoming visitors remaining scant.   Looking ahead, the Government pointed out that the Consumption Voucher Scheme will help stimulate local consumer sentiment and provide support to the retail sector.   To create conditions for further improvement in retail business and a broader based economic recovery, it is essential for the community to keep the epidemic under control and strive towards more widespread vaccination, it added.
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