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Coronavirus: HK pledges HK$25 billion in cash handouts for groups battered by crisis

The Hong Kong government has pledged a raft of handouts totalling HK$25 billion to businesses and vulnerable groups reeling from the coronavirus outbreak and offered direct subsidies for firms to make masks amid a dire shortage triggering long queues throughout the city.

As pressure mounted for the government to bring home Hongkongers stranded in epidemic-hit Hubei province, officials for the first time indicated they were preparing to do so in batches but were tight-lipped on further details.

They did let on, however, that the currently closed Disneyland had agreed to lend vacant sites for the government to build quarantine facilities.

Confirming an earlier Post report that funding for the emergency response would be doubled, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the bigger war chest would target specific businesses and workers and low-income families hit hard by the crisis, which has disrupted daily life and prompted panic buying.

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