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Hong Kong Today
Hong Kong Today
RTHK's morning news programme. Weekdays 6:30 - 8:00
Janice Wong and Vicky Wong


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Selected audio segments:
City records over 34,000 new Covid cases  Listenfacebook
Covid infections continue to hit new highs. More than 34,000 were reported on Monday, pushing the total number of cases since the pandemic began in Hong Kong past 200,000. As the exponential rise in infections shows no sign of slowing, the Hospital Authority is opening five more designated clinics from Tuesday to deal with patients. Todd Harding reports:
Panic-buying strips supermarket shelves  Listenfacebook
The Chief Executive Carrie Lam has appealed to people to stay calm after fears of a lockdown of the entire population helped spark panic-buying across the city on Monday. She also said the government was changing the way it planned to organise the upcoming compulsory universal testing and officials were studying to what extent people needed to stay home. Timmy Sung reports:
Int'l schools exempt from early summer break  Listenfacebook
Schools, which offer international curricula, won't have to follow their local counterparts in beginning their summer break next month. The Secretary for Education, Kevin Yeung, said they would be allowed to continue online classes as scheduled. But, as Natalie Ching reports, local schools will have to break for their summer holidays no later than March 17:
ESF welcomes flexibility over holidays  Listenfacebook
The English Schools Foundation says forcing its schools to take an early summer break would have had a significant impact on student learning and its ability to start the new academic year in August. The Chief Executive of ESF, Belinda Greer, told Janice Wong that ESF students needed to sit for international exams, and teacher contracts expired in June:
Insufficient facilities to control fifth wave  Listenfacebook
A government adviser on Covid vaccination says he expects the upcoming mass testing exercise to find up to a million Covid-19 cases. But Professor Ivan Hung says the mass testing is unlikely to do much to control the virus, given there are not enough facilities to isolate everyone who's infected. He also cast doubt on talks of a lockdown, saying boosting the vaccination rate was a better strategy against the current wave:
Thousands of eateries shut amid pandemic  Listenfacebook
The president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades estimates that some 2,500 restaurants have closed down temporarily under the huge surge in Covid cases and the strict anti-pandemic measures currently being imposed. Simon Wong told Natale Ching that many other establishments could follow suit:
Manpower crisis hits nursing homes  Listenfacebook
The chairman of the Elderly Services Association is urging the authorities to quickly bring in caregivers from the mainland to look after elderly people at local homes - even if they have to offer longer-term job prospects lasting up to two years. Hundreds of institutions have been hit by Covid outbreaks, creating a manpower crisis. Timmy Sung reports:
Population drop may be Covid-related  Listenfacebook
Officials estimate that Hong Kong's population dropped by 23,600 - or 0.3 percent - to about 7.4 million last year, partly due to a net outflow of 27,300 residents. But the government dismisses the idea that the territory is seeing a tide of emigration. A government spokesman says travel restrictions and quarantine measures imposed by various countries to curb Covid-19 had severely disrupted cross-boundary travel and population inflows. He said Hong Kong residents who left the SAR before the pandemic may have chosen to stay in other places temporarily or were unable to return to the territory. Timmy Sung asked University of Hong Kong population expert, Professor Paul Yip, what he made of the figures:
Russia advances on Ukraine's second-city  Listenfacebook
Ukraine has accused Russia of bombarding residential districts in the country's second-largest city, Kharkiv, killing at least 11 people and injuring dozens. Videos shared on social media showed rockets landing in a heavily built-up area of the city followed by dozens of explosions. Earlier, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing appealed for calm and restraint from all sides. Spokesman Wang Wenbin made the comments after Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on increased alert and western nations imposed new sanctions. RTHK's Moscow correspondent Fred Weir told Annemarie Evans that Putin's decision to put nuclear forces on alert was a dangerous signal: