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Apr exports value up 1.1%

The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports increased to $389 billion in April, up 1.1% compared with the same month last year, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   The value of imports of goods rose 2.1% to $425.6 billion for the same period.   A trade deficit of $36.6 billion, or 8.6% of the value of imports, was recorded for the month.   Comparing the three-month period ending April with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports decreased 12% while that of imports fell 11.7%.   The Government said epidemic-induced transportation disruptions, though easing somewhat in the latter part of the month, continued to constrain export performance.   It pointed out that exports to the Mainland fell while those to the US and the European Union posted visible growth.   Looking ahead, the global economic outlook has worsened amid rampant inflation in some major economies and monetary policy tightening by respective cen

Virus testing backlog reported

The Hospital Authority said it was notified by a COVID-19 test service vendor that some of the test procedures were lengthened due to environmental contamination and subsequent thorough disinfection required in the laboratory.   The authority explained that some of the tests and notification of negative results cannot be completed within 48 hours as the contract terms required.   The test service vendor was contracted by the authority to arrange COVID-19 testing to tie in with the Centre for Health Protection's Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance Programme.   The authority has reported the incident to the Food & Health Bureau and the Department of Health (DH). Starting from today, some of the backlog specimens will be arranged for testing in the DH’s Public Health Laboratory Centre and at three other vendors.   According to the vendor’s report, it has completed the test for all specimens received on or before March 2 and most of March 3. It is expected that the tests for the rest of March 3 and March 4, around 20,000 specimens, will be completed today.   The Public Health Laboratory Centre and the three vendors will continue to render assistance and it is expected that the tests for the rest of specimens will be completed in the coming days.   The authority has tasked the vendor to review its testing procedures and enhance contingency. It said it will seriously follow up the incident with the vendor in accordance with the contract terms to avoid the occurrence of similar incidents.
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The construction works of a relocation project in Kowloon have been suspended after a settlement monitoring checkpoint exceeded the limit, the Government said today.   The project relocates supporting operational facilities of Tsim Sha Tsui Fire Station Complex, Fire Services Club and other fire services accommodations to To Wah Road in Kowloon.   The Government explained that the readings recorded in a settlement monitoring checkpoint installed inside the railway tunnel between Kowloon Station and Olympic Station of the MTR Tung Chung Line had reached 20.27mm on September 7. The preset trigger level for works suspension is 20mm.   For the sake of prudence, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation suspended relevant works within the railway protection area on the same day.   The Buildings Department and the Architectural Services Department deployed staff to inspect the affected railway tunnel and confirmed that it is structurally safe.   The Electrical & Mechanical Services