CE visits ethnic minority families (with photos/video)

     The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, joined an activity of the New Home Association to visit ethnic minority families and distribute face masks and other daily necessities to them in Yau Tsim Mong district this evening (March 1).

     Mrs Lam and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Home Association, Mr Hui Wing-mau visited several ethnic minority grassroots families. Mrs Lam chatted with the residents and knew that the principal tenants have been living in Hong Kong for years and are the breadwinner of the family with school-age children. Particularly concerned about their lives amid the epidemic, Mrs Lam distributed face masks, leaflets with health information prepared in the languages they are familiar with and other daily necessities to them.

     For the benefit of the ethnic minorities, in addition to producing leaflets with health information in different languages, the Government has also translated parts of the content on the thematic website on COVID-19 (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html) into different languages to help the ethnic minority community keep abreast of the latest updates on the epidemic released by the Government.

     Noting that some residents are security worker or construction worker, Mrs Lam said that to thank security workers for the large volume of extra work they have done for the public amid the epidemic, the Anti-epidemic Fund of the Government will provide each cleaning worker, toilet attendant and security worker engaged under government and Hong Kong Housing Authority service contracts with a monthly allowance of $1,000 for no fewer than four months. Each of the frontline property management workers, including cleaning workers and security workers, in private residential and composite buildings will also be given a monthly "hardship allowance" of $1,000 per eligible worker for four months to strengthen their capacity on personal and environmental hygiene, and give recognition to their committed services provided during the critical period. The Anti-epidemic Fund also provides a subsidy of $1,500 to each eligible registered construction worker for the purchase of personal protective equipment and antiseptic supplies.

     Mrs Lam is also very concerned about the situation of learning at home of the children she visited during class suspension. She pointed out that the Anti-epidemic Fund will provide an additional $1,000 to each recipient of the Student Grant for the 2019-20 school year, i.e. the Student Grant amount of this year will be increased from $2,500 to $3,500, to alleviate the burden on parents in buying learning materials or e-learning devices.

     The Chief Executive decided earlier to pass all the face masks donated by various sectors to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) so that they can distribute them to the underprivileged groups. The move is aimed at sharing the relatively scarce resources with the community to fight the disease together. The New Home Association is one of the NGOs being allocated the face masks donated by private organisations to the Government.

     "The situation of the infection is still severe. I appeal to the whole community, regardless of backgrounds and races, to stand united, maintain personal hygiene at all times and minimise social contacts as much as possible, fighting the disease together. The Government will strive to implement various relief measures under the Anti-epidemic Fund and the 2020-21 Budget as soon as possible to help people ride out the difficult times," Mrs Lam said.

Ends/Sunday, March 1, 2020
Issued at HKT 21:40