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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

Frontline health staff get regular tests

The Hospital Authority today said it will arrange regular COVID-19 testing for around 65,000 frontline staff who have direct patient contact.   It said the move aims to reduce the risk of nosocomial COVID-19 transmission to safeguard patients and staff in light of the latest global epidemic situation and the emergence of local cases with mutant strains.    Starting next week, the authority will extend the staff testing arrangement by providing the frontline staff concerned with rapid antigen test kits for conducting weekly self-testing on a regular basis.   Staff members can report their test results through a mobile app designated for the authority’s staff or save a photo record themselves.   Staff who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for more than 14 days can indicate their preference for participation in the regular testing exercise.   Additionally, the authority will step up the patient isolation arrangement. Single isolation will be arranged for all patients confirmed with COVID-19 infection upon their admission, with gene sequencing tests arranged immediately.   Imported patient cases will be kept in single isolation until they are discharged upon recovery.   Local cases will also be kept in single isolation until discharge, unless they test negative for mutant strains through gene sequencing tests.   The authority reminded hospital clusters to prepare for deploying adequate single isolation facilities to dovetail with the stepped-up arrangement.   It also reminded frontline staff that they still need to comply with infection control measures and wear appropriate personal protective equipment as stipulated in the guidelines when taking care of patients.   The authority reminded citizens and staff to get vaccinated early to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and prevent the resurgence of a large-scale community outbreak.
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