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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

Melioidosis statutorily notifiable

The Government today published a notice in the Gazette to include melioidosis as a statutorily notifiable infectious disease under Schedule 1 of the Prevention & Control of Disease Ordinance.   As such, medical practitioners are required to notify the Department of Health if they have reason to suspect that a melioidosis case exists, the Government explained.   While person-to-person transmission and animal-to-human transmission are rare, melioidosis bacteria can survive in the local environment, the department’s Centre for Health Protection noted.   Moreover, melioidosis is endemic in Hong Kong, and the presence of the bacteria in the environment may cause potential outbreaks. In regards to this, and the recent increase in the number of cases, especially in Sham Shui Po, the Government proposed to list melioidosis a statutorily notifiable infectious disease to enhance surveillance and prevention.   The move would facilitate early intervention in case of a suspected outbreak in the community, and provide more accurate information about melioidosis’ clinical characteristics and distribution in the city, the department stressed.   The notice will be tabled at the Legislative Council on November 16.
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