CHP investigates nine additional cases of COVID-19
– Nine (9) additional cases
– Total now 158 (157 confirmed + 1 probable)
– 88 discharged
Since 31 December 2019 (as of 16 March 2020, 12:00 noon), the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has received reports of a total of 2726 casesfulfilling the reporting criteria of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent, including 156 confirmed cases and 1 probable case (Case no. 97) of COVID-19 and 2395 cases which were ruled out as COVID-19 confirmed in Hong Kong. The remaining 174 cases were still hospitalised for investigation. Separately, the CHP has received notification of one additional confirmed case (Case no. 158) after 16 March 2020, 12:00 noon. Among the 157 confirmed cases and 1 probable case, 66 remained hospitalised, 88 were discharged, while the remaining 4 cases were fatal cases (Case no. 13, 55, 89 and 99)
Public hospitals daily update on COVID-19
Government adopts multi-tech approach to support home quarantine
The Innovation and Technology Bureau said on March 16 that the Government is adopting a multi-tech approach in home quarantine support. With electronic wristbands developed by the Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre (LSCM) as a key solution, other technology solutions are also being introduced to complement the current monitoring system in dealing with the evolving epidemic
Government announces fee for persons staying in temporary accommodation from March 17
Persons staying in temporary accommodation provided by the Government will be charged a daily fee of $200 for accommodation and meal arrangements from March 17 (Tuesday).
Government clarifies reports on fee for persons undergoing quarantine
The fee charging arrangement only applies to those staying at the temporary accommodation sites, namely Tso Kung Tam Outdoor Recreation Centre, Sai Kung Outdoor Recreation Centre and Lady MacLehose Holiday Village.
Second batch of chartered flights to take HK people stranded in Hubei back to HK
The HKSAR Government announced on March 16 that it would arrange the second batch of chartered flights to bring Hong Kong residents stranded in Xiaogan, Xianning, Huangshi and Wuhan in Hubei Province back to Hong Kong. Costs will be borne by the HKSARG. The Wuhan Economic and Trade Office of the HKSAR Government (Wuhan ETO) will arrange transportation for returnees to go to the airport in Wuhan. A Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokesman said that for Hong Kong residents now in Xiaogan, Xianning, Huangshi and Wuhan and who have not previously contacted the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Immigration Department (AHU) or the Wuhan ETO, if they wish to return to Hong Kong, they can call the (852)1868 hotline or contact the AHU through email at email@example.com for registration before 6pm on March 17.
Remarks by SCMA on second batch of chartered flights to bring back Hong Kong people stranded in Hubei
“The earliest time for the departure of the second batch of chartered flights would be next Tuesday. As regards the number of flights and the days of operation, it very much depends on the final outcome of registration. When we confirm the final number of returnees, we will then allocate sufficient number of flights and know the number of days to implement the operation.”
HKTB to launch a HK$400 million trade support plan to reinvigorate tourism
After the epidemic abates, the HKTB will launch a plan to strengthen its support for the trade and joint promotions, with an aim to speed up the recovery of Hong Kong tourism. The initiatives will cover local and overseas travel agencies, hotels, airlines and attractions, as well as the retail, dining and Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industries. The estimated budget for the plan will be HK$400 million.
Adjustment of the Base Rate
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced on March 16 that the Base Rate was adjusted downward to 0.86% with immediate effect according to a pre-set formula.
HKMA’s Response to US Fed’s Rate Cut
HKMA Chief Executive Eddie Yue said: “Following its rate cut on March 3, the Fed further reduced the interest rate outside its scheduled meetings and also announced a series of other measures last night, including increasing its debt securities holdings, in order to support market operations and encourage banks to provide credits to mitigate risks posed by coronavirus to the US economy. In fact, following the US rate cut on March 3, global central banks and fiscal authorities have lowered interest rates and rolled out other measures. These actions together with the Fed’s latest decisions show that they are proactive in using various policy tools to mitigate the relevant risks.”
Monetary Authority announces countercyclical capital buffer for Hong Kong
The Monetary Authority announced oin March 16 that the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) for Hong Kong is reduced from 2.0% to 1.0% with immediate effect. “Economic indicators and other relevant evidence have signaled that the economic environment in Hong Kong has deteriorated further since the novel coronavirus outbreak. The HKMA has been taking actions, including the establishment of the Banking Sector SME Lending Coordination Mechanism, to encourage the banking sector to continue supporting the financing need of SMEs in Hong Kong,” said HKMA Chief Executive Eddie Yue. “Lowering the countercyclical capital buffer at this juncture will allow banks to be more supportive to the domestic economy, in particular those sectors and individuals that are expected to experience additional short-term stress due to the impact arising from the outbreak.”
FS responds on the reduction of countercyclical capital buffer
Financial Secretary Paul Chan on March 16 welcomed the reduction of the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) for Hong Kong to 1.0 per cent by the Monetary Authority. Facing the impact of the epidemic outbreak and the pressure of the global economic downturn, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong have imminent financing needs. Lowering the CCyB will release some $500 billion in capital, providing banks with a larger buffer to support the local economy as well as hard-hit sectors and individuals.
Government announces launch of Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme under Anti-epidemic Fund
The Government will launch the Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme (the Scheme) under the Anti-epidemic Fund (the Fund) on March 23 (Monday). A sum of $5.6 billion is earmarked under the Fund for the Scheme which is expected to benefit some 70,000 retailers. Each eligible retail store will receive a one-off subsidy of $80,000. The first tranche of payments will be made within April.
Anti-epidemic Fund begins disbursing subsidies to live marine fish wholesale traders
Website on the Fight Against the Coronavirus
“Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation”
– Expires May 7
CHP’s geospatial dashboard on coronavirus infections
WHO Coronavirus website
BrandHK Update Page
All press releases Mar 16
All press releases Mar 17