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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

False positive test results probed

The Government said today it has completed the investigation of the false positive virus testing results by private laboratory BGI and requested it to continue to strictly follow the improvement measures to ensure that such an incident will not occur again.   When the Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch conducted confirmatory tests for preliminary positive specimens referred by BGI on January 29, February 1 and 2, it found the COVID-19 testing results of some of these specimens to be negative.   The Hospital Authority arranged new specimens to be collected from these cases for further testing, which also tested negative.   The incident involved 16 false positive results, including eight cases from the Targeted Group Testing Scheme for teaching & non-teaching staff & staff of boarding section of special schools on January 29 and four cases from the compulsory testing arrangement for residents and visitors of Heng Lok House of Tin Heng Estate in Tin Shui Wai on February 1.   The other four cases pertained to specimens collected from a mobile testing station and a community testing centre.   The laboratory has conducted a thorough investigation into the root cause leading to false positive results in accordance with the Government's request, and submitted to the Department of Health on February 11 a report examining the potential areas of lapses, including human error, reagents carryover or contamination and environmental contamination as well as the corrective and improvement measures taken.   The laboratory adopted additional confirmatory tests on preliminary positive specimens as one of the corrective and improvement measures from February 4. It was noted that no further false positive results have been detected from BGI since then.
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124 COVID-19 cases reported

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