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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 supports universities’ GBA plans

Polytechnic University (PolyU) today is now a global powerhouse in post-secondary education, rising to 66th place in this year's QS World University Rankings and 12th in the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings for 2021. Five PolyU disciplines take their place among the world's top 50 in the QS rankings. Equally impressive, more than 160 PolyU scholars were ranked among the top two per cent of the world's most-cited scientists, according to a Stanford University index covering more than 100,000 leading international scientists. Twenty PolyU scientists were ranked among the top 50 scholars in the world in their respective fields.   PolyU is known for its ground-breaking innovations. They include the world's first optical fibre sensing system for railway monitoring, as well as pioneering yarn technology that has revolutionised the global textile industry. And, since 2010, PolyU has been an important contributor to our nation's space programme. PolyU scientists have helped develop, among other things, the Surface Sampling & Packing System for China's first lunar sample return mission. And, earlier this year, Hong Kong swelled with pride at PolyU's contributions to the remarkable success of our nation's mission to Mars.   PolyU is clearly committed to excellence, to elevating its academic and research standards. You continue to attract gifted innovation and technology academics from around the world, now with the help of the Global STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Professorship Scheme, which the Government launched in June. And I'm pleased to note that PolyU is collaborating with prominent global institutions in setting up research centres as part of two newly established research clusters, Air@InnoHK and Health@InnoHK, both at the Hong Kong Science Park. To support PolyU's aspirations in furthering research and development, as (Lam) Tai-fai (Chairman of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Council) has mentioned, I have accepted the university's proposal to explore the use of its Hung Hom Bay Campus for academic and research development, which was mentioned in my 2021 Policy Address.   PolyU is also working with the Science Park to nurture innovation and technology talent for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and developing other initiatives to encourage young entrepreneurs and startups looking to the Greater Bay Area for their future. I fully support these initiatives, as we need a steady stream of scholars, scientists and technologists if we are to take full advantage of the unprecedented opportunities presented by the rapid rise of our country and the Greater Bay Area.   Indeed, my Government supports the continuing efforts of our universities in boosting their presence in the cities of the Greater Bay Area. In doing so, we will reinforce and expand the singular strengths of our higher-education sector. In this regard, I am pleased to note that PolyU is moving ahead with the preparatory work in the establishment of its Foshan campus. The new campus will, I am confident, spur innovation and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and throughout the Greater Bay Area. As usual, as the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, I stand ready to offer my support and assistance to PolyU.   Looking forward, I have no doubt that with the commitment and dedication of the PolyU community, the university's future will give rise to many more marvellous years ahead.   Chief Executive Carrie Lam gave these remarks at the 85th anniversary launch ceremony of Polytechnic University on November 25.
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