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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

Christopher Hui inspects e-payment

Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui visited Smithfield Market in Kennedy Town today to inspect the use of electronic payment (e-payment) by stall operators and customers there.   Mr Hui visited several stalls to learn about operators' feedback and their customers' reviews on the use of e-payment in aspects such as efficiency, transaction fee and adaptability.   He pointed out that e-payment is fast and convenient, making it an irreversible trend in retail development. Under the pandemic, contactless payment is also in line with the public health perspective.   He said the Consumption Voucher Scheme announced by the Financial Secretary at the Budget has brought multiple benefits by significantly encouraging the use of e-payment and accelerating the application of fintech in daily life.   With the popularisation of e-payment, Mr Hui said he believed that stored value facilities (SVF) operators will progressively reduce their fees as a result of competition in future, which will in turn benefit merchants.   Since the announcement on the selection of the four SVF operators to assist in implementing the Consumption Voucher Scheme in April, the number of consumer accounts of the four operators and the number of merchants accepting e-payment have increased by more than 3.3 million and 80,000 as of the end of September.   Mr Hui also called on stall operators and the public at Smithfield Market to exercise their right to vote on the polling day of the 2021 Legislative Council General Election on December 19.   He noted there will be competition in the Election Committee, functional and geographical constituencies in the upcoming Legislative Council General Election, adding that the active participation of voters is of utmost importance to bring a new style of policy discussion to the Legislative Council.   “I strongly believe that a diverse and pragmatic legislature which cares about the well-being of the public will be conducive to Hong Kong's future economic and financial development,” Mr Hui said.
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