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1.8% inflation in October

Overall consumer prices rose 1.8% in October year-on-year, smaller than the 4.4% increase in September, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of the Government's one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.7%, slightly less than September's 1.8%.   Compared with October last year, price increases were recorded for electricity, gas and water; clothing and footwear; meals out and takeaway food; basic food; alcoholic drinks and tobacco; transport; miscellaneous services, miscellaneous goods and housing.   On the other hand, a year-on-year decrease in price was recorded for durable goods.    The Government said that underlying consumer price inflation remained moderate in October.   The year-on-year increase in food prices showed some moderation, though remained relatively fast. Prices of clothing and footwear continued to record a visible increase, while those of energy-related items rose sharply. Price pressur

Airport runway site cluster detected

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 28 additional COVID-19 cases, of which 26 are locally transmitted.   At a press briefing this afternoon, the centre’s Principal Medical & Health Officer Dr Albert Au said five new cases were found among workers at the Hong Kong International Airport Three-runway System construction site.   He said a total of nine cases have been recorded at the site.   Seven of the cases work under a single contract, while the other two patients work for another contract, Dr Au added.   “According to information provided by the Airport Authority and the contractors of different companies, their workers do not mix together and they work in different areas or parts of the reclamation island.   “Because the island is a very huge area and it is divided into different zones in which different contractors work in different areas, so the possibility of mixing between the workers of different companies in the construction site is very minimal.   “I think most of the risk is from sharing common facilities within the construction site such as the containers.”   Dr Au said about 6,000 workers will be required to undergo compulsory testing.   Among the local cases, six have unknown sources of infection and there are more than 40 preliminary positive cases.   Additionally, 11 buildings in Yau Tsim Mong District with sewage samples that tested positive have been included in the compulsory testing notice.   People who had been at those buildings for more than two hours from January 17 to 30 have to undergo testing by February 2.   If people subject to compulsory testing have previously undergone testing between January 28 and 30, they would be taken to have complied with the requirements set out in the notice.   The Government will set up mobile specimen collection stations at Sycamore Playground in Mong Kok and Lai On Estate in Sham Shui Po tomorrow, while the service period of the mobile specimen collection station at Man Wui Street, Ferry Point in Jordan will be extended to February 1.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.
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124 COVID-19 cases reported

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 124 additional COVID-19 cases. More cases were detected in Kwai Chung Estate. There are also more than 70 preliminary positive cases.   Among the newly reported cases, 33 are related to Kwai Chung Estate, bringing the total number of positive and preliminary positive cases in the estate to 276.   One more positive case was found after an earlier confirmed case occurred at Glory Court, Tsuen Wan Garden, both of them live in units 5 but on two different floors. The centre has co-ordinated with related government departments and conducted an inspection today.    It was preliminarily considered that vertical transmission of virus via pipes is involved.   The centre will issue quarantine orders to residents of unit 5 on all floors of the building who resided there during the incubation period of the relevant cases and transfer them to a quarantine facility.   As it is possible that virus might be ejected from the open