Carrie Lam announces HK$25b virus relief package

Local | 14 Feb 2020 6:36 pm

The government has announced a HK$25 billion package of subsidies for various groups of residents and different kinds of businesses hit by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, with even more to come in this month's budget, RTHK reports.

Around 200,000 low-income families will get a one-off grant of around HK$5,000 per household, while student subsidies will rise from HK$2,500 to HK$3,500, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said at a media briefing.

Property management firms responsible for cleaning up buildings will get HK$26,000, and extra payments will be given to cleaners and security staff.

Travel agencies can claim up to HK$80,000, while large restaurants can get up to HK$200,000, and smaller ones HK$80,000.

Hawkers aren't being left out either, with subsidies of HK$5,000 for them.

An extra HK$4.7 billion will be allocated to the Hospital Authority, and the government will directly subsidizes private firms that set up local manufacturing lines for protective face masks. They will also assist in the development of reusable face masks.

Lam said the government has enough face masks to last government staff around two months, and will hand out 1.6 million masks via non-governmental organizations to needy elderly people.

At the briefing, Lam also said that Hong Kong has not seen a large-scale community outbreak of the virus so far, and health authorities have been able to track the infections recorded.

She was flanked by several other officials, with only Health Secretary Sophia Chan Siu-chee wearing a face mask after Lam said earlier that senior members of the administration should only wear them if they are sick or going into crowded places. Photo: RTHK.

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