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Suspected adverse case explained

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An expert committee today said a suspected serious adverse event following COVID-19 vaccination did not have a direct link with the jab.   The Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunisation made the statement after it convened an urgent meeting to assess the case.   The 63-year-old man, who received a dose of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on February 26, suffered from acute shortness of breath with cough and attended Queen Elizabeth Hospital by himself in the early morning of February 28. His condition worsened rapidly and he succumbed that morning.   According to the Hospital Authority, the patient was a heavy smoker, had a history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity and suspected ischemic heart disease.   The preliminary autopsy information revealed that he had serious coronary heart disease which led to acute myocardial infarction and pulmonary oedema, resulting in respiratory failure before passing away.   Having cons

14 COVID-19 cases reported

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The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 14 additional COVID-19 cases, all of which are locally transmitted.   Among the cases, eight are untraceable, involving five women and three men aged between 23 and 69.   Three of them are asymptomatic, including a female marketing worker who last worked on February 26, a female dishwasher whose last day at work was March 1 and a man who is in charge of a residential care home for the elderly but worked from home.   The remaining unlinked cases involve two housewives, a male photocopier salesperson who last went to work on February 24, a retiree and a secretary who last worked on March 2.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage. http://dlvr.it/RtsR1r

Social distancing measures extended

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The Government today announced the social distancing measures currently in place will be maintained until March 17.   The Food & Health Bureau said the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong remains volatile since the gradual and orderly relaxation of social distancing measures on February 18.   It pointed out that a number of confirmed cases were found in certain districts over a short period of time, showing that silent transmission in the community is still active.   Taking into account the latest public health risk assessment, the Government will maintain all requirements and restrictions applicable to catering businesses and scheduled premises.   Given the recent cluster in eateries, the Government will require catering business premises to dedicate staff for clearing used utensils and cleaning and disinfecting used tables and partitions to reduce the relevant infection risk.   If this arrangement is not practicable, staff carrying out the aforementioned duties mus

Prosecutions free from interference

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The Department of Justice (DoJ) today stressed that no one should interfere with prosecutorial decisions which are carried out strictly in accordance with the law.   The DoJ made the statement in response to recent comments calling for charges to be dropped against 47 people who were prosecuted under Article 22 of the National Security Law.   It reiterated that independent prosecutorial decisions are based on an objective assessment of all admissible evidence, applicable laws and the Prosecution Code, without political considerations.   Article 63 of the Basic Law stipulates that prosecutions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are made by the DoJ, free from any interference. Prosecutions would only be commenced if there is sufficient admissible evidence to support a reasonable prospect of conviction.   The DoJ said that any open demand for immediate release of the defendants in the course of legal proceedings is considered a disrespect of Hong Kong's judicial an

Testing compliance check ends

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The Government today said a joint enforcement operation on a compulsory testing notice for a building in Jordan has been completed.   About 20 people were found to have violated the notice.   The notice covered Honour House, 375-381 Nathan Road.   The enforcement action was conducted from around 7am to 9am by the Yau Tsim Mong District Office, together with Police, the Centre for Health Protection and the Auxiliary Medical Service.   Around 140 residents’ test records were checked during the operation.   Noting that the enforcement process may cause inconvenience to residents, the Government appealed for their understanding as the operation was conducted to stop the spread of COVID-19. http://dlvr.it/RtnTjp

Vaccination reminder issued

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The Government today reminded citizens in the five priority groups that they can make online bookings from 9am tomorrow for receiving the Comirnaty vaccine.   Reservations can be made through the online booking system on the designated website of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme to receive the jab at the seven Community Vaccination Centres operated by the Hospital Authority for the period from March 10 to 30.   Under the programme officially launched on February 26, those in the five priority groups can book online for receiving the Sinovac vaccine at eight centres and the authority’s 18 general outpatient clinics for the period until March 28.   People can also choose to receive the Sinovac vaccine directly with a private doctor or clinic under the programme, without going through the Government's online booking system.   The Government called on those in the five priority groups to get vaccinated as soon as possible. http://dlvr.it/RtnTfY

Subsidy scheme accepts applications

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The Food Courts Subsidy Scheme was launched today and opened for applications to provide financial support to operators of eligible licensed food factories in operation, the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department announced.   Launched under the fourth round of the Anti-epidemic Fund, the scheme will provide a one-off subsidy ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 to licence holders of food factories according to the floor area of the premises as specified on the business operation licence.   The department explained that "food court" means a place inside a shopping mall comprising licensed food factories and an adjoining seating area with tables and chairs or stools provided by the property management or owner of the mall for non-exclusive use by its visitors, which may include patrons of the licensed food factories.   The scheme requires an applicant to make a declaration, including indicating that the food business is still in operation, and if the business is not oper

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