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Foreign currency reserves up

Hong Kong's foreign currency reserve assets rose to US$423.2 billion in November from October's US$417.2 billion, the Monetary Authority announced today.   The reserve assets represent over five times the currency in circulation or about 42% of Hong Kong dollar M3.   There were no unsettled foreign exchange contracts at the end of November. http://dlvr.it/Sf21yd

2 restricted areas set

The Government today made restriction-testing declarations to require people within the specified restricted areas in Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing for COVID-19.   The restricted areas include 7A-27A Pitt Street, 2-50 Tung On Street, 833-889 Canton Road and 10-16 Dundas Street in Yau Ma Tei as well as Mandarin Court, 647-651 Shanghai Street in Mong Kok.   After risk assessment, the Government believes it is necessary to issue restriction-testing declarations for the restricted areas to achieve the goal of zero cases in these districts with concerted efforts.   The declarations for Yau Ma Tei took effect at 7pm, while Mong Kok’s took effect at 8pm.   The Government will set up temporary specimen collection stations at the restricted areas and request people subject to compulsory testing in Yau Ma Tei to get tested before 2am. People within the Mong Kok restricted area have to get tested before midnight.   They will be arranged to undergo a nucleic acid test at specimen collection stations where staff will collect samples through combined nasal and throat swabs.   The Government will arrange door-to-door specimen collection for people with impaired mobility and seniors, or arrange for them to self-collect and submit the deep throat saliva specimens.   It aims to finish these exercises by around 7am tomorrow.   Those who have undergone testing from February 2 to 4 in the Yau Ma Tei restricted area and can provide the SMS notification or related certification containing the test results are not required to be tested again. But they must stay in their premises until all people in the area have been tested and the results are mostly ascertained.    The same applied to those who were tested from February 1 to 4 in the Mong Kok restricted areas.   According to the compulsory testing notice issued today, those who had been at these buildings for more than two hours from January 22 to February 4, even if they were not present in the restricted areas when the declaration took effect, must undergo compulsory testing by February 6.   The Government has prepared simple food and basic cleaning tools for the residents restricted by the declaration. The Home Affairs Department has set up a hotline 2835 1473 for these residents to make enquiries and seek assistance. The Social Welfare Department will also assist those affected.
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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