Hong Kong announces anti-virus funds

AP – Hong Kong’s leader unveiled a USD3.2 billion fund yesterday to bolster efforts to fight the virus outbreak, as the city announced three new cases, bringing its total to 56. The amount is more than double the USD1.3 billion the government initially planned.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government will subsidise companies producing masks to boost supply and provide USD605 million more to the Hospital Authority. Lam said cash handouts will also be given to poor families, students and other groups hit by the epidemic, including travel agencies, property management firms and restaurants.

Lam, whose government has come under fire for its perceived mishandling of the outbreak, said her administration has “put in every effort” to fight the virus. She said the emergency funding reflects its commitment to protect the welfare of the city’s 7.4 million people.

Two women carry supplies of toilet papers at a street in Hong Kong, yesterday. PHOTO: AP