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1.9k COVID-19 cases found 

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The Centre for Health Protection today said it is looking into 1,950 additional locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 455 were identified through nucleic acid tests and 1,495 via rapid antigen tests.   Separately, 37 imported cases were detected.   Furthermore, 22 residential care homes for the elderly and two for disabled people logged 33 cases involving their residents and two staff infections.   The Hospital Authority reported that 36 patients passed away in public hospitals. According to a preliminary analysis, the cause of death of 18 patients was related to COVID-19, while that of the remaining 18 patients was unrelated.   It also registered 11 more critical patients, bringing the number of patients in critical condition to 130.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government’s dedicated webpage. http://dlvr.it/ShPjDS

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Mpox jab service adjusted

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The Department of Health announced today that in view of the reduction in demand of high-risk target groups for vaccination of Mpox, two of the designated vaccination centres will cease operation from January 30 onwards.   These two centres are at Yau Ma Tei Jockey Club Polyclinic and Tang Chi Ngong Specialist Clinic in Wan Chai. People who have made appointments for the vaccinations will be notified of the adjustments.   The booking and enquiry line 2547 1900 and booking email: mpv_booking@dh.gov.hk for Mpox vaccination will also cease operation.   Starting from January 30, high-risk target groups can receive Mpox walk-in vaccination at six social hygiene service clinics (SocHS) of the department.   They are Wan Chai Male SocHS, Wan Chai Female SocHS, Yau Ma Tei Male SocHS, Yung Fung Shee SocHS, Fanling SocHS and Tuen Mun SocHS. Fees will apply for non-eligible people.   Additionally, the integrated treatment centre in Kowloon Bay and the special medical clinics at Queen Eli

HKeToll to be gradually launched

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The Transport Department today announced that the free-flow tolling service, HKeToll, will be gradually implemented at all government tolled tunnels this year to replace the existing manual and automatic toll booths.   As one of the smart mobility initiatives, the HKeToll service will bring convenience to motorists as they can pay tunnel tolls with ease using a toll tag, either a vehicle tag or a class tag, without having to stop or queue at toll booths for payments.   By making use of the Radio Frequency Identification technology with the support of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology, the HKeToll system can detect the use of a tolled tunnel by a vehicle through reading of a toll tag affixed on the vehicle's windscreen or by capturing an image of the vehicle's number plate.   It will then recognise the vehicle registration mark automatically and deduct tunnel tolls from users' preset toll payment accounts.   The department explained that motorists wil

23k coronavirus cases found

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The Centre for Health Protection today said it is looking into 23,035 additional locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 3,554 were identified through nucleic acid tests and 19,481 via rapid antigen tests.   Separately, 326 imported cases were detected.   Eighteen residential care homes for the elderly and six for disabled people logged 41 cases involving their residents as well as five infections among staff.   In addition to reporting that 62 patients passed away in public hospitals due to the coronavirus, the Hospital Authority registered 34 more critical patients, bringing the number of patients in critical condition to 207.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government’s dedicated webpage. http://dlvr.it/SgFZFR

Study subsidy scheme expanded

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The Education Bureau today announced that it will subsidise, through the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors, 1,310 places in 37 top-up degree (TUD) programmes of eight post-secondary institutions for the cohort to be admitted in the 2023-24 academic year.   As announced in the Chief Executive’s 2022 Policy Address, the scheme will be expanded in phases starting from the 2023-24 school year, covering TUD programmes for the first time.   These 37 designated TUD programmes fall under 10 disciplines identified as having keen manpower demand, including architecture and engineering, computer science, creative industries, financial technology, healthcare, insurance, logistics, sports and recreation, testing and certification, and tourism and hospitality.   In the 2023-24 academic year, the annual subsidy amount for laboratory-based TUD programmes will be $78,280, while for non-laboratory-based ones it will be $44,950.   The subsidy amounts are applicable to eligib

DoJ refutes unfair criticisms

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The Department of Justice today said comments concerning the uncertainty about Hong Kong’s legal environment mentioned in an article in the Asia Business Law Journal are unfair criticisms far from the truth.   As stipulated in the Basic Law and stated by President Xi Jinping in his important speech on July 1, there is no doubt that “one country, two systems” and Hong Kong’s common law system shall long continue in the future, the department pointed out in a press statement.   At the same time, Hong Kong’s common law system has a very strong heritage, under which arbitration enjoys a very good reputation and increasing recognition in the global community. For instance, of the 277 arbitrations submitted to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre in 2021, 81.6% were international in nature, 38.3% involved no Hong Kong parties and 7.6% involved no Asian parties.   Moreover, the department noted that Hong Kong’s legislative framework for arbitration is comprehensive and stays a

Teachers’ conduct guidelines issued

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The Education Bureau today issued the Guidelines on Teachers’ Professional Conduct to stipulate the professional conduct and norms of behaviour required of teachers.   To protect students’ well-being and safeguard the education profession, national security and social order, the bureau encourages teachers to have self-awareness and self-discipline to abide by the guidelines.   Teachers’ words and deeds, conduct and values have a profound impact on students, the bureau said, stressing that the pursuit of professionalism and commitment to upholding high moral standards should be well integrated such that students can be nurtured with correct moral values.   When formulating the guidelines, the bureau took into account the actual situation of Hong Kong’s education system and the existing legislation, cited documents related to teachers’ professional development, and made reference to the standards for teachers’ professionalism in different countries and regions.   Eight codes of p