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CE begins visit to Xi'an

Chief Executive Carrie Lam left Chongqing for Xi'an today and began her visit programme in Shaanxi Province.   After arriving in Xi'an, she met Shaanxi Governor Zhao Yide and attended a lunch he hosted.   Mrs Lam said she was pleased to visit Shaanxi for the first time as Chief Executive and congratulated Shaanxi on the successful hosting of the 14th National Games.   She expressed hope that Shaanxi would share its valuable experience, enabling the governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Guangdong Province and the Macau SAR to do a good job in hosting the 15th National Games in 2025.   Noting that Shaanxi is a key link for the nation's Belt & Road Initiative with its rich cultural history, the Chief Executive said the two places can build on the close trade and economic ties to enhance collaboration to contribute to the initiative and promote arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.   She added that the Hong Kong

Yau Ma Tei restricted area set

The Government has made a restriction-testing declaration to require people within the specified restricted area at 9-27 Pitt Street and 3 Tung On Street in Yau Ma Tei from 7pm today to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing for COVID-19 in accordance with its arrangement.   It exercised the power under the Prevention & Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap 599J) today and aims to finish the exercise at about 6am tomorrow with a view to allowing residents to get to work in the morning.   The Government added that it had issued compulsory testing notices in respect of 15-27 Pitt Street and 3 Tung On Street, but outbreaks in the area remained severe.   From January 11 to 25, more than 40 confirmed cases were recorded in the above-mentioned areas, involving three buildings. The Centre for Health Protection had earlier evacuated some residents living on Pitt Street within the restricted area to a quarantine centre.   The Government pointed out that those buildings in the restricted area are relatively old and lack maintenance, adding that subdivided units are common and the infection risk in the community is quite high.   The sewage samples found in the relevant buildings also tested positive, which implied possibly an infection risk, it noted.   The Government will set up temporary specimen collection stations at the restricted area and request people subject to compulsory testing to undergo testing before midnight tonight.   They must stay at their place of residence until all test results are ascertained to avoid the risk of cross-infection.   The Government will arrange door-to-door specimen collection for people with impaired mobility and seniors or make arrangements for them to self-collect and submit the deep throat saliva specimen.   If employees are unable to go to work because of the declaration, the Government urges their employers to exercise discretion and not deduct the employees' salary or benefits.   The Government has prepared food and basic cleaning tools for those residents restricted by the declaration.   The Home Affairs Department has set up a hotline 2572 8427 for enquiries and a dedicated hotline 3755 6816 for ethnic minorities.
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