Video PlayerClose HONG KONG, April 8 (Xinhua) — China’s Hong Kong announced Wednesday a basket of relief measures worth 137.5 billion Hong Kong dollars in total (17.74 billion U.S. dollars) to prop up businesses and residents struggling amid the COVID-19 epidemic. As a key part of the package, the government will allocate 80 billion Hong Kong dollars pay up to half of the wages of workers from coronavirus-hit sectors for six months, capped at 9,000 Hong Kong dollars for every beneficiary each month, Carrie Lam, chief executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said at a press conference. The program will benefit about 1.5 million workers across Hong Kong, with the first batch to be distributed as early as in June in a two-phase arrangement. Besides, 215,000 self-employed people will be granted one-off subsidies. Lam described the relief efforts, including an array of other measures disclosed at the press conference, as “unprecedented” and stressed the goal is to prevent possible massive bankruptcies and lay-offs triggered by the epidemic. The Hong Kong economy has suffered from the double-blow of social unrest in 2019 and the COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the year. From restaurants to retailers, businesses in… Read full this story
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