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Declaring false COVID-19 testing records will be prosecuted
     The Government has noticed that, among the recent cases reported through the "Declaration System for individuals tested positive for COVID-19 using Rapid Antigen Test", the proportion of negative results detected upon nucleic acid test is significantly higher than the general false-negative rate of rapid antigen tests and as compared with past trends. After investigation, the Government suspected that individual members of the public may have reported dated or false information in order to receive the recovery record QR code for meeting the Vaccine Pass requirement. The relevant cases have been referred to the Police for follow-up. A Government spokesman stressed that the act is an offence in law and an irresponsible action that would have major impact on the fight against the epidemic. The Government will deal with these cases in a serious manner.

     The spokesman emphasised that, since late April and when testing capacity permits, all cases reported through the system will be required to undergo nucleic acid test by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH). Cases confirmed to be negative by the nucleic acid test will be deleted from the confirmed case record. The relevant persons will no longer be able to use the quarantine orders issued by the Government, recovery QR code records or any other relevant documents as a proof of recovery. According to the Prevention and Control of Disease (Disclosure of Information) Regulation (Cap. 599D), it is a criminal offence for any person to provide false or misleading information to a health officer or an authorised officer. Offenders are liable to a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for six months.

     So far, the CHP has found six persons suspected of deliberately providing false information. The cases have been referred to the Police for follow-up. Among them, three persons were arrested, and the Police will consider taking appropriate law enforcement actions against the remaining persons. The spokesman reiterated that the Government will take serious action against anyone who reports false information.

     Vaccination, especially the third dose, is critical to containing the epidemic. According to experts' advice, recovered persons can safely receive the next dose of vaccine no less than 28 days after recovery. The Government appeals to recovered persons who have not been vaccinated or have only received the first dose to make an appointment for vaccination as soon as possible to meet the requirements of the Vaccine Pass and at the same time increase the antibody level. As for those who are not sure whether they have been infected with COVID-19, or who do not have a recovery record in the DH's system, they should receive COVID-19 vaccine as those who are not infected. The Government calls on the public to continue to adopt vigilant anti-epidemic measures and receive appropriate doses of COVID-19 vaccine to strengthen the overall protective barrier of the society.
Ends/Thursday, June 2, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:37
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