Law faces up to challenge of some shortages

Top News | Sophie Hui 17 Feb 2020

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-Kwong said he has not worn a mask recently as he skips public transport and works in his office alone.

On his blog yesterday, Law said he did not go to any crowded places in the past 22 days since the Lunar New Year as he usually stayed in his personal office, except when going to meetings.

He also drove to the government offices and did not take public transport.

"I did not wear a single mask and saved for those in need indirectly," Law said.

On another front he said there will be subsidies for nursery centers to prevent them from closing as Hong Kong has learned the lesson from the 2003 SARS outbreak.

The nursery subsidies were among the 21 measures in the HK$25 billion relief package.

Others included special allowances for training institutions that cooperate with the Employees Retraining Board, grants to subvented and nonsubvented child-care centers and one-off allowances to 200,000 low-income families.

He said the subsidies are to support the service providers so they will not close down due to the virus outbreak.

"The SARS battle had led to the closure of some child-care centers, tightening the supply of services for many years afterward," he said.

Law praised the efforts of the Social Welfare Department in fighting the virus, referring to its emergency relief support unit which has been helping quarantine centers since January 23 in purchasing and delivering necessities.

For those in home quarantine, Law said as of Friday, the department had provided support to about 770 people in 468 households.

In order to minimize the risk of spreading the virus in the community, the department has made special arrangements for the renewal of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme cases. All CSSA cases that expire between January 29 and March 31 will be automatically renewed for three months.

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