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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

Normal public services to resume

The Government today said its departments will fully resume normal public services from February 18 given the latest developments of the COVID-19 situation.   It said it made the decision in light of the gradual stabilisation of the epidemic situation and taking into account the needs of the functioning of society and the economy.   As individual bureaus and departments may require more time to carry out necessary manpower deployment, procure supplies and need to comply with anti-epidemic regulations, some of their services may be resumed later.   Those bureaus and departments will separately make announcements of their latest service arrangements.   To reduce people flow and social contact, bureaus and departments will continue to implement targeted measures while resuming public services, such as introducing flexible working and lunch hours and using video conferencing instead of holding face-to-face meetings.   The Government noted there may be a higher demand for various public services initially, adding that waiting times may be lengthened, or more time may be needed to process applications.   Members of the public are advised to use alternative means, such as the post, drop-in boxes or online channels, to receive the services they need.   If they have to visit government buildings or offices, they should wear surgical masks at all times and comply with infection control measures implemented by the relevant departments, including temperature checks, using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app and crowd control arrangements.
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