All virus patients to receive HK$5,000 handout - RTHK
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All virus patients to receive HK$5,000 handout

2020-11-22 HKT 11:08
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  • All virus patients to receive HK$5,000 handout
Health Secretary Sophia Chan says the government will begin giving a one-off HK$5,000 handout to everyone in the SAR who tests positive for the coronavirus as it seeks to ease the concerns of people who are avoiding tests for fear of losing income.

The Labour and Welfare Bureau is to announce details of the scheme later, but Chan told a radio programme on Sunday that the handout would not be means tested.

Chan also said that the government was setting up a further five community testing centres on top of four that are already in operation.

"We will be increasing the number of testing centres in the coming week. Obviously it will be in different districts in Hong Kong," Chan said.

"On top of the five testing centres, we will also be assessing the situation of different districts.

"If there are a lot of cases in a particular district, not only are we setting up more centres but we can, as we have done in Tai Po district, set up mobile swabbing stations or send vans to distribute specimen bottles."

Chan said the additional testing centres would make it easier for people who are subject to mandatory tests.

News of the subsidy came as the government made the first use of its powers to compel people to take virus tests. The first order, published in the early hours of Sunday, affects anyone who has been to any of 14 dance clubs linked to a cluster of at least 32 cases.

The government says it will shortly announce more compulsory tests for high-risk groups, including taxi drivers and care home workers, as well as people with symptoms.