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IT subsidies for the disabled open

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The IT Scheme for People with Visual Impairment and the Central Fund for Personal Computers are open for applications until February 23, the Social Welfare Department announced.   The scheme supports non-governmental and non-profit-making organisations providing services or schooling for the visually impaired to acquire advanced Chinese screen readers, Braille displays and accessories.   It also subsidises visually impaired people with genuine financial difficulty in purchasing these devices for study or work.        The fund for personal computers assists eligible people with disabilities in acquiring computer facilities for self-employment or receiving supported employment services at home, with guidance and follow-up services from rehabilitation organisations or the Labour Department. http://dlvr.it/RrRZjg

Contract workers' wages increase

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The Government today announced that the median hourly wage of non-skilled employees engaged by government service contractors increased 23.8% after implementing a package of improvement measures since April 1, 2019.   It released a report on the review of improvement measures which analysed information from government service contracts adopting the improvement measures issued and awarded from April 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020 by four main user departments.   The analysis showed that among about 25,500 non-skilled employees who have benefited from the improvement measures covered in the study, their median committed hourly wage increased from $36.7 to $45.5, a substantial rise of 23.8%.   Even after discounting the increase in the statutory minimum wage rate and the Consumer Price Index (A) for the same period, there was still a significant net increase of 14% in the employees’ median hourly wage.   Based on those figures, the monthly basic wage of cleaning workers or security

Scan incident probed

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The Hospital Authority today reported that a confirmed COVID-19 patient received a CT scan examination at the Caritas Medical Centre without a ventilation system installed as planned.   The authority's Chief Manager (Quality & Standards) Dr Lau Ka-hin told a press briefing that the replacement work for the air handling unit began on January 23 in a CT scan examination suite at the hospital.   Two portable air purifier units with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters were planned to be installed to aid temporary air ventilation.   On the afternoon of January 25, staff noted that the air purifiers had not been installed as planned.   A confirmed COVID-19 patient had received a CT scan examination in the suite at around 1am on January 24.   This patient required high flow oxygen with a filtered mask and her duration of stay was around five minutes.    An investigation revealed that a total of 71 patients received an examination in the same location after the c

3 nurses test initially positive

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(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Hospital Authority today reported that three nurses at Queen Elizabeth Hospital tested preliminary positive for COVID-19 yesterday.   The authority's Chief Manager (Quality & Standards) Dr Lau Ka-hin told a press briefing that the hospital infection control team and the Centre for Health Protection did not have sufficient evidence to confirm an epidemiological link between the three nurses.    One of the nurses worked in a medical ward, the other worked in the isolation ward and the remaining nurse worked in a medical ward but was arranged to work in the isolation ward from December 7 for six weeks.   “One of the nurses was working in the isolation ward all along. Another nurse worked in the isolation ward from December 7 last year to January 17 this year. On January 13 this year, these two nurses have been working on the same shift. So they have been working together for a while and

Govt reports 1 COVID-19 case

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The Department of Health today announced that a staff member of its Travel Health Centre (Kowloon) at Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices has tested positive for COVID-19.   The clinic was closed immediately for thorough cleaning and disinfection, and will remain closed for 14 days.   Clients affected by the closure will be contacted by staff to reschedule their service appointments.   The Cremation Permit Office (Kowloon) connected to the centre was also closed immediately and will remain closed for three days.   The staff member is a medical and health officer. He last performed his duties on the morning of January 23. His body temperature was normal when undergoing temperature screening at work.   He wore a surgical mask while performing duties and properly maintained social distancing.   The officer felt unwell later in the day on January 23 and his deep throat saliva sample was collected for testing the same day. The result came back positive today.   He had come into

COVID-19 case explained

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The Food & Health Bureau today said it is not unusual in the field of molecular biological testing that virus test results may not be consistently reproducible when a patient is tested repeatedly.   It was responding to media reports about case number 9741 which was confirmed on January 20, and previously underwent COVID-19 testing and received a negative result.   The bureau, having engaged Prof Yuen Kwok-yung, a member of the Expert Advisory Panel and his team at the University of Hong Kong to conduct a review and analysis, announced the results yesterday.   The case number 9741 patient consulted a private doctor on January 13. He had developed symptoms at that time but did not undergo testing.   He went to the community testing centre at Henry G. Leong Yaumatei Community Centre on January 15 and the mobile specimen collection station on Canton Road on January 18 for virus tests. Both returned negative results.   The patient later felt unwell and was sent to hospital on

13 virus cases detected

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(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   More than 7,000 people in the restricted area in Jordan have undergone COVID-19 testing and so far 13 have preliminarily tested positive for the virus, the Government said today.    At a media session this evening, Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan hailed the operation as effective and explained that the 13 cases detected in the compulsory testing exercise represent a positive rate of 0.17%.    “In fact, if you look at the percent positive rate and the Hong Kong Government’s testing strategy - that is the compulsory testing, the target group testing, plus the voluntary testing - the overall positivity rate is also about 0.17%. So it is similar.   “I think the compulsory testing and also the testing within an area with the restriction of movement are effective in identifying these cases, and also very quickly - as soon as possible - detecting as well as isolating these cases. Their

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