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FS explains voucher, duty proposal

Financial Secretary Paul Chan today responded to questions concerning his 2021-22 Budget speech, such as the proposed consumption voucher scheme and increase in the stamp duty on stock transfers.   During a radio show this morning, the finance chief was asked if the Government would offer the public another option to receive cash instead.   Mr Chan stressed that the Government put forward the electronic voucher option after considering public views.   "On the consumption voucher (scheme), the idea is to try to encourage those spending in domestic shops within a short period of time. Over the past two days, we have been listening to views from members of the public.   "The policy consideration, in fact, this year is to try to use this money to help revive domestic consumption and the economy. That's why we chose to use consumption vouchers instead.   "Please do acknowledge that the scope of spending is very wide. People can use it to go to markets, to go to

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HA reports 2 initially positive cases

The Hospital Authority today reported two preliminary positive cases of COVID-19 involving a patient at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and a clerical staff at Tuen Mun Eye Centre.   It said a 52-year-old male patient was admitted to the accident and emergency department of PMH on January 22 due to epigastric pain, vomiting and fever. He did not have other respiratory symptoms at the time.   He was transferred to the surgical ward for further treatment after undergoing an admission screening for COVID-19.    The patient received the preliminary positive result today after being tested in community on January 22. His test arranged by the hospital was also positive for COVID-19.   He was immediately transferred to the isolation ward for further treatment.   Another patient who had stayed in the bed adjacent to the patient concerned in the surgical ward was classified as a close contact and will be quarantined for 14 days. The hospital will also arrange viral testing for that patient.   So far, no staff have been classified as close contacts. PMH has arranged thorough cleansing and disinfection of the ward concerned.   The clerical staff at Tuen Mun Eye Centre attended the Tuen Mun Hospital’s accident and emergency department yesterday due to fever. Her test result released last night was preliminary positive.   She mainly handles clerical work related to surgery appointment booking on the 3/F and seldom has contact with patients. She last attended work yesterday morning.   Five colleagues were classified as close contacts and will be quarantined for 14 days. Another nurse, classified as other contact, will undergo 28 days of medical surveillance.   As a precautionary measure, the eye centre will arrange for 20 patients who recently visited 3/F and around 120 staff and outsourced workers to undergo COVID-19 testing.   Additionally, about 100 patients and staff at the Renal Dialysis Centre on the 1/F in the same building will undergo virus testing.
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