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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

Jobless rate falls to 4.5%

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.5% for the period between July and September compared to the period from June to August, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   The underemployment rate also dropped to 2.1% during the period.   Total employment rose by around 6,300 to 3,658,000, while the labour force stood at 3,838,600, about the same as in the previous period.   There were 180,600 unemployed people from July to September, a drop of about 7,100 from the preceding three-month period. The number of underemployed people also decreased by around 7,200 to 79,000.   Analysed by sector, the unemployment rates of most economic sectors fell in the July-September period compared with the preceding three-month period, more noticeably in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector, professional and business services sector, and arts, entertainment and recreation sector.   For the consumption and tourism-related sectors, the combined jobless rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 7.2%.   Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong noted that the labour market further improved along with the increasingly entrenched economic recovery.   Looking ahead, he said the labour market conditions would depend on the pace of the economic recovery. The Consumption Voucher Scheme would also continue to render support to consumption-related activities in the near term.   However, the global pandemic development remains a key source of uncertainty over the economic and labour market outlook.   The community should stay vigilant against the COVID-19 epidemic and strive towards more widespread vaccination, Dr Law added.
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