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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

Govt work unaffected by CS vacancy

The Government today said its work will not be impeded despite the Chief Secretary post being left vacant since April 7, as appropriate arrangements have been put in place.   ​Responding to media enquiries, the Government pointed out the Chief Secretary is delegated with the power in granting exemptions from compulsory quarantine or from directions imposing certain requirements or restrictions on scheduled premises such as event places.   Such a power is granted under the relevant regulations made by the Chief Executive-in-Council under the Prevention & Control of Disease Ordinance.   With specific references to this delegated power, the Government explained that, by virtue of section 45 of the Interpretation & General Clauses Ordinance, the Chief Executive may by order direct the holder of another public office to exercise the power conferred upon the holder of any public office when “no person has been appointed to discharge the functions of that office”.   As a matter of fact, the Chief Executive has made such an order for an exemption from quarantine to be granted for the fifth batch of Mainland experts arriving Hong Kong on April 7 to support the city’s anti-epidemic work.   On April 2, the Government announced that exemptions from the prevailing social distancing restrictions and group gatherings under the relevant regulations have been granted to facilitate the necessary activities during the Sixth-term Chief Executive election in the interest of the Hong Kong public.   It added that it will continue to act lawfully in accordance with the public interest in respect of any Chief Executive election matters.
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