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Restoring WTO dispute system urged

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau called on World Trade Organization (WTO) members to support the restoration of a fully functioning dispute settlement system during the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, yesterday.   At a meeting on dispute settlement reform, Mr Yau said the dispute settlement system has functioned as a cornerstone of global trade, creating stability and predictability. He added that to have a well-functioning system restored this year, as was mandated at MC12, would serve the interests of all WTO members and of the global business community.   He stressed that Hong Kong, China has been involved in every stage of the reform process in relation to dispute settlement and will continue its active participation.   Speaking at another meeting, on development, Mr Yau said that the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement is a very much a pro-development agreement.   He highligh

Outreach jab arrangement starts

The Outreach Vaccination Arrangement for Residential Care Homes (RCHs) under the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme started today.   Outreach teams and visiting medical officers will visit the first batch of 10 RCHs for the elderly that are participating in the arrangement, which provides free vaccination services at RCHs for their residents and service users of the day service units attached to the premises of RCHs who have agreed to receive a vaccination and have been assessed by medical doctors as suitable for receiving a jab.   For the administration of the BioNTech vaccine, the Hospital Authority will conduct site inspections and assessments, and send outreach vaccination teams to administer the vaccine for suitable residents who have agreed to receive vaccinations at RCHs.   For that of the Sinovac vaccine, visiting medical officers participating in the Department of Health's Residential Care Home Vaccination Programme will administer the vaccine for suitable residents who have agreed to receive jabs at RCHs.   The Social Welfare Department has provided guidelines on the workflow to RCHs participating in the arrangement to help them make preparations, including preparing residents' information such as their clinical history and health condition.   These preparations enable the outreach teams and visiting medical officers to assess participating residents' suitability for receiving the vaccines based on the recommendations of the scientific committees under the Centre for Health Protection and take into account clinical judgements and residents' health conditions on the day of vaccination.   The Social Welfare Department, through RCHs, had earlier collected information about residents' or their legal guardians' choices as to whether they will participate in the outreach arrangement and what type of vaccine to receive, and has passed such information to the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health for follow-up arrangements.   Residents who choose not to participate in the outreach vaccination arrangement will not be vaccinated in RCHs. They can still make bookings and receive a COVID-19 jab at community vaccination centres or other locations.   The Government will consolidate the experience gained from the outreach vaccination arrangement for the first 10 RCHs and extend the arrangement to the remaining 1,100 institutions in an orderly manner, including RCHs for the elderly, RCHs for people with disabilities and nursing homes.
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