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1.8% inflation in October

Overall consumer prices rose 1.8% in October year-on-year, smaller than the 4.4% increase in September, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of the Government's one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.7%, slightly less than September's 1.8%.   Compared with October last year, price increases were recorded for electricity, gas and water; clothing and footwear; meals out and takeaway food; basic food; alcoholic drinks and tobacco; transport; miscellaneous services, miscellaneous goods and housing.   On the other hand, a year-on-year decrease in price was recorded for durable goods.    The Government said that underlying consumer price inflation remained moderate in October.   The year-on-year increase in food prices showed some moderation, though remained relatively fast. Prices of clothing and footwear continued to record a visible increase, while those of energy-related items rose sharply. Price pressur

Daily virus cases rise to 5.2k

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 5,235 additional locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 1,276 were identified through nucleic acid tests and 3,959 via rapid antigen tests.   Separately, 387 imported cases were detected.   Two residential care homes for the elderly and one for disabled people logged four virus cases involving their residents.   There were also 647 positive cases concerning 538 students and 109 staff filed by 459 schools.   In addition to reporting that eight more patients passed away in public hospitals due to the coronavirus, the Hospital Authority registered three more critical patients, bringing the number of patients in critical condition to 26.   Furthermore, it announced that the refined special visiting arrangement will be extended to all psychiatric hospitals and wards from October 20.   Regarding the imported cases carrying mutant strains, the Department of Health's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch identified 23 additional cases of sub-lineage XBB. So far, Hong Kong has recorded 29 XBB cases and one BA.2.75.2 case among the imported infections.   Due to a number of positive cases, 68 specified places are included in a compulsory testing notice. It also covers another two places in Quarry Bay and Ho Man Tin where some sewage samples tested positive for the virus.   The Government will set up an additional ad-hoc mobile specimen collection station at Fu Keung Court in Lok Fu tomorrow.   Since there were positive sewage test results with relatively high viral loads in several areas of Islands, Kowloon City and Wong Tai Sin districts, the respective district offices will distribute COVID-19 rapid test kits to relevant residents as well as cleaning workers and property management staff working there.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.

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124 COVID-19 cases reported

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 124 additional COVID-19 cases. More cases were detected in Kwai Chung Estate. There are also more than 70 preliminary positive cases.   Among the newly reported cases, 33 are related to Kwai Chung Estate, bringing the total number of positive and preliminary positive cases in the estate to 276.   One more positive case was found after an earlier confirmed case occurred at Glory Court, Tsuen Wan Garden, both of them live in units 5 but on two different floors. The centre has co-ordinated with related government departments and conducted an inspection today.    It was preliminarily considered that vertical transmission of virus via pipes is involved.   The centre will issue quarantine orders to residents of unit 5 on all floors of the building who resided there during the incubation period of the relevant cases and transfer them to a quarantine facility.   As it is possible that virus might be ejected from the open