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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

Airport staff virus testing enhanced

The Government today issued a compulsory testing notice requiring people working at Hong Kong International Airport to undergo COVID-19 testing by February 25.   The compulsory testing notice covers people employed from February 4 to 25, who have the airport area as their usual place of work or service and who intend to continue to have the airport area as their usual place of work or service during March 1 to 31.   They can be employed by the Government, statutory body, airport business partners or their contractors/subcontractors, or service providers engaged by the aforementioned entities under hire-of-service contracts.   They should take a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19 from February 4 to 25.   The workers must visit any of the airport dedicated testing centres or community testing centres to receive free testing services by providing a specimen collected by combined nasal and throat swabs.   Tests for Hospital Authority staff working in the airport area shall be carried out at any of the authority’s medical facilities.   The people concerned may opt for self-arranged testing provided by a laboratory recognised by the Department of Health at their own expense.   They shall obtain and keep the test report or the relevant SMS or email notification containing the test result for checking by the enforcement officers from March 1 to 31.   The Government estimates that close to 70,000 people will take part in this compulsory test.   Upon completion of the one-off compulsory testing scheme, the Government and the Airport Authority will roll out a voluntary regular testing scheme in March for airport staff who may have a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 from outside Hong Kong.
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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