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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

Rapid test to combat drug driving

Police will adopt the Rapid Oral Fluid Test from February 19 as a preliminary on-site drug test for drivers involved in traffic accidents and offences or suspected of drug driving.   Authorised police officers will use the instrument to detect whether a driver’s oral fluid contains specified drugs, including heroin, ketamine, MDMA, cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine.    Drivers who fail the test will be required to provide blood or urine samples for further tests.   Police Traffic Branch Headquarters Acting Senior Superintendent Ng Hoi-wai told the media this afternoon that the instrument is highly accurate and more efficient compared with traditional testing methods.   Mr Ng said: “My personal estimation for the Drug Influence Recognition Observation by the roadside in a traditional method will take our police officers about half an hour, but the current device will take a maximum of eight to 10 minutes.   “I think the number one improvement is the timing, another one is the objectivity.”   Refusing a Rapid Oral Fluid Test or driving under the influence of drugs is a criminal offence. Drivers will be liable to a maximum fine of $25,000, three years’ jail and disqualification from driving.
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