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Welfare cases dip 0.5%

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The overall Comprehensive Social Security Assistance caseload dropped to 219,130 in September, down 0.5% from August, the Social Welfare Department announced today.   The total number of recipients stood at 310,318.   Single parent cases dipped 1.2% to 24,336. Low-earnings cases registered a month-to-month decrease of 1.1% to 2,272 cases, while old age cases were down 0.4% to 125,252.   Unemployment cases decreased 0.7% to 19,110, an increase of about 51.8% compared with January 2020 when Hong Kong just started to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.   The average number of applications for unemployment cases in July to September 2021 was 528 per month, down 2.9% from the June to August number.   Ill-health cases decreased by 0.2% to 26 703, while permanent disability cases decreased slightly by 0.1% to 17,510 cases. http://dlvr.it/SB1YRc

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Jobless rate falls to 4.5%

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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-relat

New customs chief appointed

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The Central People's Government has approved the appointment of Louise Ho as Commissioner of Customs & Excise on the recommendation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.   Ms Ho’s appointment took effect from today when Hermes Tang proceeded on pre-retirement leave after 34 years’ service.   The Chief Executive said Ms Ho has served in the Customs & Excise Department for 30 years and has extensive experience in departmental operations.   “She possesses solid management and leadership skills. I am confident that she will lead the department in meeting the challenges ahead," Mrs Lam added.   Mrs Lam also conveyed heartfelt appreciation to Mr Tang for his contribution to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and wished him a happy retirement.   Louise Ho joined the Customs & Excise Department as Inspector of Customs & Excise in 1991. She was promoted to Superintendent and Senior Superintendent of Customs & Excise in 2010 and 2013.   She became Assis

Jab service further enhanced

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Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip today visited Sham Shui Po, Wan Chai and Wong Tai Sin to appeal to citizens in particular the elderly to receive COVID-19 vaccination for better self-protection.   He first inspected the first departure operation of the dedicated vaccination transport service at Fu Cheong Estate in Sham Shui Po.   As some housing estates do not have suitable places for vaccination services, today the Government started a trial run of a scheduled transport service, which offers residents, particularly elderly people, a round trip between designated housing estates and a nearby community vaccination centre, so that they can get vaccinated.   Mr Nip said: “Reaching out to the community and focusing on the elderly is a strategic priority of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme at this stage. A one-stop service covering a health talk, medical consultation and COVID-19 vaccination has been provided across the 18 districts in the city and some vaccination activi

HK's arbitration strengths to thrive

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COVID-19 has changed the world, forcing global economies to rethink their mode of operation, in particular in the area of supply chain and logistics. Technology is an inevitable part of the equation in this rethinking given the new normal that the world may well have to adapt to.   There is a clear shift of maritime and trading activities to the East, meaning a larger demand for maritime-related financial and legal services. This trend is inevitable when, out of the world's top 10 container ports, China accounts for seven of them, and three of which are cities of the Greater Bay Area, namely Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.   As reported by the Baltic & International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the volume of container shipping in the first quarter of this year hit 42.9 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, representing an increase of 10.7% from the first quarter of 2020. China's export alone has increased by 33.7% from January to August this year, and generated an incre

Public urged to get flu jabs

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Acting Chief Executive John Lee today received the seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) and called on citizens to get vaccinated early to prepare for the winter influenza surge.   Joined by principal officials and under secretaries at the event, Mr Lee said: “Influenza can cause not only serious illnesses in high-risk individuals but also infection in healthy people. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent seasonal influenza and its complications.   “Receiving SIV and getting COVID-19 vaccination are both important. I call on the public, especially the high-risk groups including elderly people, to receive SIV early for additional protection to their personal health.”   Also present was Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan who explained why citizens should get their flu jabs as soon as possible.   “Based on past epidemiological patterns, the winter influenza season usually starts in January. However, the exact time of arrival cannot be predicted.  

Vaccination case data updated

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The Department of Health said that in the preceding week ending October 17, it received 32 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 immunisation.   Among them, no death case was reported by the Hospital Authority involving individuals who had received vaccines within 14 days before they died and had potential association with vaccination.   As at October 17, around 8.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered to the public.   The department received 6,217 reports of adverse events, 46 of which are death cases with vaccination within 14 days. The figures represented 0.07% and 0.0005% of the total vaccine doses administered. None of the death cases was associated with vaccination.   The Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunisation concluded that 26 death cases had no causal relationship with vaccination, and preliminarily considered that 19 cases were not associated with vaccination. The remaining one is pending assessment.