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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

Laguna City restricted area set

The Government made a restriction-testing declaration to require people at Blocks 5 and 7 of Laguna City in Lam Tin to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing for COVID-19 in accordance with its arrangement from 7pm.   It exercised the power under the Prevention & Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap 599J).   The restricted area refers to Blocks Block 5 and Block 7 of Laguna City.   The Government explained that it issued compulsory testing notices for these two blocks after outbreaks in the area remained severe. From January 18 to 29, a total of 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded in the blocks concerned.   It said it understands that around 1,200 residents from the two blocks already underwent testing at the testing station set up at Sai Tso Wan Neighbourhood Community Centre in Kwun Tong from January 22 to 24 and from January 29 to 31.   After conducting a risk assessment, the Government decided that it is necessary to issue a restriction-testing declaration for the restricted area to break the transmission chain in the district and dispel the residents’ worries.   It will set up temporary specimen collection stations at the restricted area and request people subject to compulsory testing to undergo testing before 2am tomorrow.   They must also 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 seniors and people with impaired mobility, or make arrangements for them to self-collect and submit the deep throat saliva specimen.   It strives to complete testing of all identified people subject to compulsory testing and confirm the results, as well as finish the exercise at around 7am tomorrow to allow residents to start getting to work.       Those who had undergone previous testing from January 29 to 31 and are able to provide the SMS notification or related certification containing the results are not required to be tested again.   However, they are required to stay in their premises until all people identified in the area have undergone testing and the results are mostly ascertained.   All people who had been at Blocks 5 and 7 for more than two hours from January 29 to 31, even if they were not in the restricted area at the time the declaration took effect, must undergo compulsory testing by the same time as mentioned above.   The Home Affairs Department has set up a hotline 2756 0665 for enquiries. The Social Welfare Department is also providing assistance to those affected.
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