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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

August retail sales up 11.9%

The value of total retail sales in August, provisionally estimated at $28.6 billion, rose 11.9% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in August, online sales accounted for 7.4%. Provisionally estimated at $2.1 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 16.5% year-on-year.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month increased 10.6% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts increased 28%.   This was followed by sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (+10.1% in value); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+1.3%); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+30.7%); commodities in department stores (+7.5%); wearing apparel (+35.7%); medicines and cosmetics (+13.6%); fuels (+21%); furniture and fixtures (+6.5%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+27.9%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+62.3%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+26.7%); and optical shops (+60.4%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 8% for the period, followed by sales of motor vehicles and parts (-0.4% in value).   The Government said the year-on-year growth in the value of total retail sales picked up notably in August, thanks to the boost from the Consumption Voucher Scheme (CVS). The stable local epidemic and improved labour market conditions also contributed.   Looking ahead, the Government noted that the CVS should continue to bode well for local consumption sentiment in the rest of the year.   Nevertheless, keeping the epidemic under control remains pivotal to a full-fledged recovery of the retail sector and the overall economy. It is thus essential for the community to strive towards more widespread vaccination, it added.
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