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270 COVID-19 cases recorded

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 270 additional COVID-19 cases, of which 116 were detected by nucleic acid tests and 154 were identified via rapid antigen tests.   Among the new cases, 31 are imported while the rest are locally infected.   Since the onset of the fifth wave of the epidemic, 1,199,227 people have contracted the virus. One more patient passed away, bringing the total number of deaths in the fifth wave to 9,163.   Moreover, the Hospital Authority announced that a staff member of Haven of Hope Hospital’s catering department tested positive through a rapid antigen test on Thursday. Contact tracing revealed that four more employees from the same department who had dined or stayed in the same accommodation as the patient had also caught COVID-19. These four staff and seven other staff who have been identified as close contacts will be quarantined.   As a precautionary measure, the hospital’s catering department has temporarily suspended o

Jobless rate falls to 4.5%

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.5% for the period between July and September compared to the period from June to August, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   The underemployment rate also dropped to 2.1% during the period.   Total employment rose by around 6,300 to 3,658,000, while the labour force stood at 3,838,600, about the same as in the previous period.   There were 180,600 unemployed people from July to September, a drop of about 7,100 from the preceding three-month period. The number of underemployed people also decreased by around 7,200 to 79,000.   Analysed by sector, the unemployment rates of most economic sectors fell in the July-September period compared with the preceding three-month period, more noticeably in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector, professional and business services sector, and arts, entertainment and recreation sector.   For the consumption and tourism-related sectors, the combined jobless rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 7.2%.   Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong noted that the labour market further improved along with the increasingly entrenched economic recovery.   Looking ahead, he said the labour market conditions would depend on the pace of the economic recovery. The Consumption Voucher Scheme would also continue to render support to consumption-related activities in the near term.   However, the global pandemic development remains a key source of uncertainty over the economic and labour market outlook.   The community should stay vigilant against the COVID-19 epidemic and strive towards more widespread vaccination, Dr Law added.
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