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Balanced approach to curbing virus

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   Chief Executive John Lee today said he has asked the Secretary for Health to review the current anti-epidemic measures, aiming to strike a balance between containing the virus spread and reducing the inconvenience to travellers.   Meeting the media this morning before chairing the first meeting of the new-term Executive Council, Mr Lee said the Secretary for Health is considering how the duration of quarantine should be handled.   “I am giving him time to look at the statistics so that he will formulate some options for me to consider.”   At the same time, the Government will strive to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control and protect those who are more vulnerable to the virus, he noted.   “One of the important measures is to make good use of the polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test so that we can be certain that we will be able to identify those who are infected early, separate

Voucher scheme well received

Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui today said the community’s overall response to the Consumption Voucher Scheme is very positive after the first batch of vouchers was disbursed.   The first $2,000 consumption voucher was disbursed to about 5.5 million eligible people on August 1.   Answering lawmakers’ questions today, Mr Hui said the scheme is generally welcomed by the public and businesses and has successfully boosted and stimulated consumer sentiment.   He noted that the four stored value facility operators and a lot of shopping centres and merchants have seized the opportunity to introduce extra promotions to attract people to spend, adding that such additional promotions will reinforce the multiplier effect of the electronic consumption vouchers.   As the vouchers are disbursed in instalments, Mr Hui believes that the enthusiastic consumer sentiment will continue in the second half of the year, leading to growth of the local retail, catering and service sectors, and boosting the overall local economy.   The Government had estimated earlier that there would be around 7.2 million eligible people, involving about $36 billion and expected that the scheme would boost local economic growth by 0.7 percentage points.
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