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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

Chai Wan restricted area set

The Government today made a restriction-testing declaration for a residential building in Chai Wan as a preliminary positive case was detected there.   The case was found in Fung Hing House, Hing Wah (II) Estate, Chai Wan and involves a mutant strain of COVID-19.   The Government decided to make the declaration after the test result was positive, as the risk of infection in the building may be higher.   The declaration for the building took effect from 9pm and aims to be finished by about 7am tomorrow. People in the area subject to compulsory testing will need to be tested by 2am.   They will be arranged to undergo a nucleic acid test at the temporary specimen collection stations set up there, 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.   Diploma of Secondary Education candidates in the restricted area who need to sit for the examination the following day should go to the temporary specimen collection stations there as soon as possible and submit relevant documents including admission forms for proof to undergo priority testing.   Meanwhile, according to the compulsory testing notice, any person who had been at the building for more than two hours from April 23 to May 6, even if they were not present in the restricted area when the declaration took effect, must undergo compulsory testing by May 8.   The Home Affairs Department has set up a hotline 2557 0115 for the affected residents to make enquiries and seek assistance.
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