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More HZMB private car quotas set

The governments of Hong Kong and Macau have agreed to increase the regular quotas for Hong Kong cross-boundary non-commercial private cars using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to Macau, the Transport Department announced today.   The decision was made to enhance traffic flow between Hong Kong and Macau, better utilising the bridge, the department said.   It will increase the Hong Kong quota by 1,000, following the earlier quota allocation of 1,800 for Hong Kong.   The additional quota will be distributed in two phases from the second quarter.   Half of the additional 1,000 quota allocations is for company applicants and the other half is for individual applicants. The quotas are valid for no more than three years. The eligibility criteria of quota applications remains the same.   Private cars allocated with Hong Kong quotas will be permitted to access the city of Macau multiple times using the bridge.   The Hong Kong quota allotments will be re-allocated upon expiry thro

Vaccine packaging issue probed

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   An investigation by BioNTech has revealed that packaging defects in its COVID-19 vaccine vials were caused by the crimping process and ultra-low storage temperature but did not affect the jabs' safety.   Director of Health Dr Constance Chan told a media session this afternoon that the Department of Health received a written notification from BioNTech today on its investigation into the packaging issue.   Dr Chan said: “Upon further investigation, samples (of the BioNTech vaccine vials with packaging defects) detected in Hong Kong were sent back to Germany for an investigation. They have done numerous tests and experiments on the vials concerned. They have also done tests in another fill and finish plant operated by Baxter.   “In the process, they found out that in the vials packed at the site which provided batches (numbered) 210102 and 210104, there were issues related to the so-called crimping process. Crimping is the process by which pressure is applied to the aluminium ring which affixes to the rubber stopper at the top of the vial.   “We received a report that the (defect in question) is related to the process of crimping and at the same time the condition of the ultra-low temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius. So that is why BioNTech has now decided to send the new vials from Baxter which have undergone repeated experiments and investigations, and that would exclude further occurrence of such an event.”
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