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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

HA reports initially positive case

The Hospital Authority today reported that a clerical staff at Shatin Hospital has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.   The staff concerned, from the authority’s Cluster Facility Management Department of the New Territories East Cluster, developed fever and diarrhoea on January 22 and attended the Tuen Mun Hospital’s staff clinic the next day.   He was subsequently transferred to the accident and emergency department and arranged to undergo a deep throat saliva test. His preliminarily positive result was made available last night.   The staff concerned is mainly responsible for clerical duties relating to medical equipment maintenance services and has no contact with patients.   He last attended work on January 21 and wore surgical masks while on duty.   Four colleagues were identified as close contacts and will be quarantined.   The clerical staff concerned attended a meeting at the Prince of Wales Hospital on January 20 and all meeting participants wore surgical masks.   As a precautionary measure, the cluster has arranged COVID-19 tests for the other 10 participants of the meeting as well as staff of the department concerned.   Thorough cleansing and disinfection have been carried out at the office concerned.
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