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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 schools’ merger announced

The Education Bureau announced today that Lung Cheung Government Secondary School (LCGSS) will merge with Kowloon Technical School (KTS) starting from the 2022-23 school year to integrate resources and offer students a better learning environment.   The bureau decided on the merger considering the projected decline in the school-age population of secondary schools is structural and that there is a relatively sizeable surplus of school places in Wong Tai Sin where LCGSS is situated.   The decision to merge was made after carefully considering factors including education policies, changes in school-age population, demand and supply of school places, overall development needs of government schools and utilisation of its resources, it explained.   Noting that both schools were former technical schools with similar backgrounds, the bureau said the premises of KTS is spacious enough to accommodate the students who will be transferred there.   The consolidation will not only alleviate the excessive supply of school places in Wong Tai Sin but also integrate resources of the two schools to provide students with a better learning environment and richer learning experience, it added.   LCGSS will cease to run Secondary 1 and 4 classes from the 2022-23 school year and will no longer operate in the 2024-25 school year.   While students currently studying Secondary 4 to Secondary 6 will complete their senior secondary education in LCGSS, Secondary 1 to Secondary 3 students will be transferred to KTS for Secondary 4 upon completion of their junior secondary education.   The bureau stressed that it will assist students who wish to change to other secondary schools in the district.   In addition to discussing the merger at school management committees, both schools pledged to maintain communication with stakeholders and explain the detailed arrangements and support measures for students.   Starting from this school year, the educational institutions will strengthen co-operation through exchange activities for teachers and students by arranging joint school curriculum and competitions to enhance their integration and achieve synergy.   The bureau said it will analyse the needs and situations of both schools in the coming years and provide necessary resources and support to assist them in catering for students' learning.   It will also closely monitor the changes in student population and maintain communication with the sector.   It is hoped that the merger will serve as a leading example for other school-sponsoring bodies and encourage the sector to plan ahead to ensure the sustainable development of the school sector and effective use of resources while maintaining the quality of education, the bureau emphasised.
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