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CS hails new electoral system

The fourth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic has lasted for some time. To our great relief, the number of local confirmed cases has remained at low levels in recent days. The Government's multi-pronged strategy of continuously enhancing our anti-epidemic measures and preventing the importation of cases has proven effective.   Apart from keeping social distancing measures in place and mounting an extensive promotion of testing, we have specifically strengthened the manpower in contact tracing as this is a particularly crucial measure in cutting the chains of viral transmission.   The Department of Health's Contact Tracing Office has redoubled its efforts in speeding up the process of identifying close contacts. Their sterling efforts in contact tracing in the gym cluster last month have significantly helped in suppressing rebounds within a number of days. This was a remarkable success.   For this, I must thank all those who have helped, including some 200 colleagues seconded f

Mortgage loans down 1.7%

Residential mortgage loans approved in January decreased 1.7% compared with December to $37.8 billion, the Monetary Authority announced today.   Mortgage loans financing primary market transactions fell 22.5% to $5 billion, while those financing secondary market transactions increased 1.5% to $27.1 billion.   Those for refinancing rose 6.8% to $5.8 billion. Mortgage loans drawn down during the month dropped 5.9% to $24.9 billion.   The number of mortgage applications in January increased month-on-month by 15.1% to 13,112.   The outstanding value of mortgage loans increased month-on-month by 0.6% to $1.5909 trillion at the end of January.
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