The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government will take a series of measures including launching a second round of anti-epidemic fund to support businesses and residents impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, HKSAR government Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung said Sunday.
In light of the rapid growth of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong, the HKSAR government has introduced new measures to limit public gatherings and shut down some venues, Cheung said in his blog.
These measures, which inevitably affected certain sectors, were necessary to prevent the disease from spreading. "The government will provide financial subsidy to protect workers and those affected sectors," he said.
The HKSAR government announced an anti-epidemic fund in February, which provided 24 aid measures to help hard-hit businesses and residents. As a number of sectors are still experiencing impact from the COVID-19 outbreak, the government will launch the second round of anti-epidemic fund, and propose to the Legislative Council for financial allocation after arranging proper plans, he said.
Cheung appealed to the whole society to support the government's epidemic-prevention arrangements. It is the duty of all members of the public to fight the virus, and only when all residents stay united in the fight can the risk of community transmission be reduced, he stressed.
Financial Secretary of the HKSAR government Paul Chan on Sunday also emphasized in his blog that preventing the epidemic is the primary task for Hong Kong at the current time, which needs support from all Hong Kong residents.
Chan stressed that reducing social contacts would help stop the spread of the disease, although it may lead to business stagnation. He added that if the epidemic is not effectively checked, it may not only endanger the health and life security of Hong Kong residents, but will also deal a heavier blow to economic and business activities.
Chan said that the faster Hong Kong can keep the epidemic under control, the earlier Hong Kong residents' daily life and business activities will return to normal, and the earlier Hong Kong's business confidence, economy and employment will improve.
The HKSAR government will fulfil its commitment to continue support for sectors impacted by the epidemic and epidemic-prevention measures, and those affected workers in particular, and encourage employers and employees to tide over difficulties together, Chan said.