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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

Tourism growth strategies explained

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau today said Hong Kong will continue to fortify its position as an international tourism hub by integrating into the country’s overall development.   Responding to a lawmaker’s questions at the Legislative Council, Mr Yau said the National 14th Five-Year Plan, the Outline Development Plan for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (ODP), and the Culture & Tourism Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (CTD Plan) set out guiding directions for the bay area and Hong Kong’s cultural and tourism development.   Among them, the ODP and the CTD Plan both expressly support Hong Kong in developing into an international tourism hub and a core demonstration zone for multi-destination tourism.   Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government promulgated in 2017 the Development Blueprint for Hong Kong’s Tourism Industry, which articulates a long-term vision for making Hong Kong a world-class premier destination for tourists.   With the blueprint’s strategies echoing with the ODP and CTD Plan’s guiding directions, the commerce chief stressed that these documents will guide Hong Kong tourism’s development.   During the past four years, the Hong Kong SAR Government has implemented various measures and initiatives according to the blueprint, which include enhancing local tourism resources, developing projects in relation to cultural, heritage, creative and green tourism with characteristics, reviewing Hong Kong’s tourism positioning and establishing the bay area tourism brand through the Tourism Board.   In addition, the Travel Industry Authority aims to implement a statutory licensing and regulatory regime in 2022 for upgrading the trade’s professionalism and service quality.   When cross-boundary travel fully resumes, the Hong Kong SAR Government will co-operate with relevant departments of other bay area cities, with a view to attracting overseas and high value-added overnight travellers to embark on bay area multi-destination journeys via Hong Kong   As such, Hong Kong can strengthen its important positions as a core demonstration zone for multi-destination tourism and an international tourism hub, while promoting the bay area’s overall tourism development, Mr Yau noted.
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