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Over 3.1k virus cases identified

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 3,172 additional locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 449 were identified through nucleic acid tests and 2,723 via rapid antigen tests.   Separately, 111 imported cases were detected.   Furthermore, seven residential care homes for the elderly and five for disabled people logged 13 cases involving their residents.   The Hospital Authority reported that 20 patients passed away in public hospitals. According to a preliminary analysis, the cause of death for nine patients was related to COVID-19, while that of the remaining 11 patients was unrelated.   It also registered eight more critical cases, bringing the number of patients in critical condition to 93.   Separately, to align with the Government’s cancellation of issuing isolation orders from tomorrow, the authority will, starting from the same day, announce at 8.30am and 1pm the information of general out-patient clinics (GOPC) quota reserved for COVID-19

Govt rejects foreign statements

The Government today said it strongly rejects and condemns individual foreign politicians' biased and groundless statements on so-called issues relating to human rights, freedoms and political participation in Hong Kong.   It said the statements issued by individual foreign politicians, including those from the US, the UK, the European Union and Australia, are flagrant and unsubstantiated attacks on Hong Kong and provocative interventions of China's internal affairs.   In its response, the Government noted that the oath-taking of district council members was conducted in full compliance with the Basic Law.   It strongly deplored and condemned the smearing and unfair comments by foreign governments of this legitimate oath-taking process and the rightful decisions to disqualify some district councillors whose oaths are invalid for failing to meet the legal requirement to uphold the Basic Law and bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.   The Government also pointed out that the implementation of the National Security Law and the improved electoral system are the turning points for Hong Kong.   With stability restored, Hong Kong has got back on the right track of "one country, two systems". Citizens can once again go about their normal lives and are looking ahead with renewed confidence in the future.   In addition, the city's financial market has remained steady since the implementation of the National Security Law.   The banking sector is as robust as ever, financial services remain promising and development opportunities, both in Hong Kong and on the Mainland, continue to open up.   The Government stressed that the National Security Law has been implemented in full accordance with national and local laws.   The National Security Law states that freedoms of speech, of the press and of publication are among rights and freedoms explicitly protected in accordance with Hong Kong laws.   It also ensures the resolute, full and faithful implementation of the "one country, two systems" policy that Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy will not be changed and the legitimate rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong people under the Basic Law will not be undermined.   Any claims of politically motivated prosecutions are factually incorrect, nonsensical and misguided, the Government noted.   It reiterated that all prosecutorial decisions are based on admissible evidence and applicable laws. Cases have never been or will never be handled any differently owing to the political beliefs or background of the people involved.   The Government said: “Following a long period of acrimonious political stalemate, the operation of our Legislative Council has returned to normal after the implementation of electoral reforms.   “People from all walks of life with different opinions about government policies are able to participate in the political system, as long as they uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR.   “People are free to vote and stand for election, regardless of their political affiliation.   “We urge foreign politicians to stop their blatant interference in Hong Kong matters which are the internal affairs of the People's Republic of China.”
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