The Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Alfred Sit, has dismissed allegations that he misled the public by claiming free reusable masks for residents contain an award-winning anti-pollution technology.
The government had earlier claimed that the design of the "Cu Mask", developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, won a gold medal at the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions.
Sit even showed off the award certificate while introducing the mask at a government press conference several days ago.
But local newspaper Apple Daily revealed that the mask did not actually contain the patented anti-pollution technology that won the award.
Speaking to lawmakers at a special Finance Committee meeting, Sit was asked if he would apologise for misleading the public.
In response, the technology chief said the Cu mask did not include the award-winning technology because it would not be able to sustain up to 60 washes.
But he argued that the inner layers of the mask, which contain anti-bacteria copper elements, were derived from the same technology.
He stressed that the mask offers sufficient protection and said he would invite experts to better explain the matter to the public.
Tech tsar plays down misinformation claim over masks
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