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124 COVID-19 cases reported

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 124 additional COVID-19 cases. More cases were detected in Kwai Chung Estate. There are also more than 70 preliminary positive cases.   Among the newly reported cases, 33 are related to Kwai Chung Estate, bringing the total number of positive and preliminary positive cases in the estate to 276.   One more positive case was found after an earlier confirmed case occurred at Glory Court, Tsuen Wan Garden, both of them live in units 5 but on two different floors. The centre has co-ordinated with related government departments and conducted an inspection today.    It was preliminarily considered that vertical transmission of virus via pipes is involved.   The centre will issue quarantine orders to residents of unit 5 on all floors of the building who resided there during the incubation period of the relevant cases and transfer them to a quarantine facility.   As it is possible that virus might be ejected from the open

July retail sales up 2.9%

The value of total retail sales in July, provisionally estimated at $27.2 billion, rose 2.9% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in July, online sales accounted for 7.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.1 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 29% year-on-year.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month increased 0.9% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts increased 27.1%.   This was followed by sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+15.8% in value); wearing apparel (+30.7%); medicines and cosmetics (+0.5%); motor vehicles and parts (+25%); fuels (+12.8%); furniture and fixtures (+0.6%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+9.8%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+30.5%); and optical shops (+8.9%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 19.4% for the period, followed by sales of commodities in department stores (-9.6% in value); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-5.7%); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (-2.5%); and Chinese drugs and herbs (-2.3%).   The Government said that retail sales continued to increase in July over a year earlier as the local epidemic remained stable and labour market situations improved further, although the growth pace moderated as compared to the preceding month.   Looking ahead, the Government noted that the electronic consumption vouchers that it began to disburse in August have helped stimulate consumption sentiment and will render support to the retail business in the rest of the year.   However, it is essential for the community to keep the epidemic under control and strive towards more widespread vaccination so as to strengthen the foundation for continued recovery of the retail sector and the overall economy, it added.
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