Pro-democracy lawmakers expressed shock on Thursday after a member of the Beijing-loyalist camp, Ann Chiang, posted a 10-minute video on her Facebook page explaining how to steam face masks so they can be reused.
Democrat Roy Kwong said Chiang even told members of Legco's health services panel, which she chairs, that she was currently wearing a mask that she had steamed.
Kwong sarcastically called her a "genius" in response.
In a Legco meeting, Chiang asked the Controller of the Centre For Health Protection, Wong Ka-hing, whether face masks can be sterilised at home and then reused.
When Wong told her that "that doesn't work according to my understanding", Chiang said she would like him to check that again.
The DAB lawmaker clarified in a later Facebook post that she believes masks should only be steamed as a last resort.
But medical sector lawmaker Pierre Chan said this is simply a "horrible" idea and he appealed to people not to take up the suggestion.
"Very bad. It's common sense. It will destroy the structure of that surgical mask, it's very simple. It's one use only and please, do that," Chan said.
People across Hong Kong have been scrambling to find face masks to wear amid the current Wuhan viral pneumonia outbreak, with stores across the city sold out.
Chiang's video on steaming masks has been shared thousands of times.
Ann Chiang in hot water over mask steaming call
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