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8.91m vaccine jabs given

About 8,913,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public, with about 4,566,000 people receiving their first dose and around 4,347,900 getting their second dose.   Among those given the first dose of vaccines, about 1,658,800 people have received the Sinovac jab and about 2,907,200 people got the BioNTech one.   For the second dose, about 1,584,700 people have received the Sinovac vaccine, while about 2,763,300 people have been administered the BioNTech jab.   About 12,200 people received jabs under the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme today.   Around 2,100 people received their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine and around 3,700 people received their second dose.   For the BioNTech vaccine, about 2,600 people received their first dose and around 3,900 people got their second dose.   The overall percentage of people who received the Sinovac vaccine at community vaccination centres is about 91%, while it is about 89% for the BioNTech one.   As of midnigh

March retail sales up 20.1%

The value of total retail sales in March, provisionally estimated at $27.6 billion, rose 20.1% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in March, online sales accounted for 7.7%. Provisionally estimated at $2.1 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 43.3% year-on-year.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales for the month increased 19.8% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified increased 35.2%.   This was followed by sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (+44.8% in value); jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+81%); wearing apparel (+77.4%); commodities in department stores (+2.2%); medicines and cosmetics (+18%); motor vehicles and parts (+23.1%); fuels (+18.8%); furniture and fixtures (+12.5%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+64.1%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+19.2%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+27.7%); and optical shops (+29.1%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 16.1% for the period, followed by sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-1.8% in value).   The Government said retail sales registered a notable year-on-year increase in March, mainly due to an exceptionally low base of comparison last year. For the first quarter as a whole, retail sales volume rose 7.2% over a year earlier, but was still far below that in the first quarter of 2019 by 32.5%.   Looking ahead, the Government pointed out that while local consumption sentiment saw some improvement following the gradual relaxation of social distancing measures since mid-February, the near-term outlook for the retail trade is still challenging as inbound tourism remains in the doldrums.   To attain a stronger revival of the retail trade and a broader-based economic recovery, it is essential for the community to work together to keep the epidemic under control and to actively participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, it added.
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