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23 building plans approved in Jan

The Buildings Department approved 23 building plans in January - four on Hong Kong Island, 10 in Kowloon and nine in the New Territories.   Of the approved plans, 15 were for apartment and apartment-commercial developments, five were for commercial developments, two were for factory and industrial developments and one was for a community services development.   Consent was given for works to start on nine building projects which will provide 117,013 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 2,755 units and 144,989 sq m for non-domestic use.   Additionally, the department received notification of commencement of superstructure works for five building projects.   The department also issued 17 occupation permits - six on Hong Kong Island, three in Kowloon and eight in the New Territories.   Buildings certified for occupation have 152,580 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 3,178 units and 35,955 sq m for non-domestic use.

Daily virus cases rise to 5.2k

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 5,235 additional locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 1,276 were identified through nucleic acid tests and 3,959 via rapid antigen tests.   Separately, 387 imported cases were detected.   Two residential care homes for the elderly and one for disabled people logged four virus cases involving their residents.   There were also 647 positive cases concerning 538 students and 109 staff filed by 459 schools.   In addition to reporting that eight more patients passed away in public hospitals due to the coronavirus, the Hospital Authority registered three more critical patients, bringing the number of patients in critical condition to 26.   Furthermore, it announced that the refined special visiting arrangement will be extended to all psychiatric hospitals and wards from October 20.   Regarding the imported cases carrying mutant strains, the Department of Health's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch identified 23 additional cases of sub-lineage XBB. So far, Hong Kong has recorded 29 XBB cases and one BA.2.75.2 case among the imported infections.   Due to a number of positive cases, 68 specified places are included in a compulsory testing notice. It also covers another two places in Quarry Bay and Ho Man Tin where some sewage samples tested positive for the virus.   The Government will set up an additional ad-hoc mobile specimen collection station at Fu Keung Court in Lok Fu tomorrow.   Since there were positive sewage test results with relatively high viral loads in several areas of Islands, Kowloon City and Wong Tai Sin districts, the respective district offices will distribute COVID-19 rapid test kits to relevant residents as well as cleaning workers and property management staff working there.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.

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