A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past stacks of toilet paper for sale in the Tsuen Wan district of Hong Kong on Feb 8, 2020. After days of panic buying, the city’s chief secretary for administration reassures residents that Hong Kong has abundance of supplies. (PHILIP FONG / AFP)
HONG KONG – Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung on Sunday reassured the public about supplies of food and other necessities in the city amid a novel coronavirus outbreak.
In his online blog, Cheung said the supplies of main commodities are very much like last year, meaning that Hong Kong has an abundance of food and necessities.
Currently, Hong Kong has a stock of around 2.5 million kilograms of rice, which could sustain for one month, he said.
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According to the regulations, rice suppliers are required to hoard up enough rice for at least 15 days.
Matthew Cheung appealed to the public to cut back on social activities and pay attention to personal hygiene as now is the critical time to control virus outbreak
As for vegetables, the supplies have reached their normal levels, like before the Lunar New Year holiday. Also, frozen meet still can last three to four months.
The cross-boundary freight has also gradually returned to the normal level after the holiday, said the chief secretary.
On Feb 14, about 6,200 freight vehicles entered the city, three times that of Feb 8. Therefore, there is no need for the public to snap up rice and other necessities, he said.
The government will continue to closely monitor the supplies of staples in the city, added Cheung.
He also appealed to the public to cut back on social activities and pay attention to personal hygiene as now is the critical time to control the outbreak.
The city recorded its 57th novel coronavirus infection on Sunday.
The government earlier announced a series of measures to tighten passenger traffic at the borders. The latest one being a compulsory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals who visited the Chinese mainland in the past two weeks.
An array of relief measures that worth HK$25 billion was announced on Friday to help battered residents, including the frontline medical workers, business owners and the underprivileged, amid the epidemic.
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