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HK logs 3.3k COVID-19 cases

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 3,362 additional locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 493 were identified through nucleic acid tests and 2,869 via rapid antigen tests.   Separately, 118 imported cases were detected.   Furthermore, seven residential care homes for the elderly and one for disabled people logged nine cases involving their residents.   The Hospital Authority reported that 33 patients passed away in public hospitals. According to a preliminary analysis, the cause of death for 13 patients was related to COVID-19, while that of the remaining 20 patients was unrelated.   It also registered six more critical cases, bringing the number of patients in critical condition to 99.   As there were positive sewage test results with relatively high viral loads in several areas of Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Kowloon City districts, the respective district offices will distribute COVID-19 rapid test kits to relevant residents as well as cleaning

Minimum wage rate maintained

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Chief Executive in Council today adopted the Minimum Wage Commission's recommendation to maintain the statutory minimum wage rate at $37.5 per hour.   Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong made the announcement during a media session this afternoon.   He said the Government has carefully considered the commission's report and is of the view that the commission has discharged its statutory function of reviewing the minimum wage rate with thorough and balanced deliberations.   "During the whole process of the work of the Minimum Wage Commission, there are differences in views among the representatives of employers and those representing the labour side. Definitely, the range of expectation ranges from a reduction in the minimum wage to substantially increasing it.   "The commission considered all the views and struck a balance. So this recommendation to the Government and the acceptance by the Government of this recommendation basically reflects a fine balance between the difference of views."   The commission also took into account that the Hong Kong economy was in a deep recession with an elevated unemployment rate and the economic outlook is subject to an unusually high degree of uncertainty when reviewing the minimum wage rate, Dr Law added.   He said: "By late October next year, the commission will submit another report to the Government. I think that would be timely to look at the situation by that time."
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