Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday increased a relief fund to tackle the impact of the coronavirus outbreak as she urged residents to accept the government’s quarantine plans for returning passengers from a cruise ship stranded in Japan.
Lam said the government would increase handouts to tackle the outbreak to HK$28 billion ($3.60 billion) from HK$25 billion pledged previously, to ease the impact on the Chinese-ruled city’s battered economy.
The coronavirus has killed more than 1,800 people across the border in mainland China and one of 60 patients in Hong Kong.
Hundreds of anti-government protesters marched in multiple neighborhoods over the weekend against plans to turn some buildings into coronavirus centers.
The government imposed a mandatory two week quarantine period for anyone entering Hong Kong from the mainland from Feb 8.
People who break quarantine rules risk a HK$25,000 ($3,200) fine and six months’ jail. Hong Kong citizens who have visited the mainland are meant to stay at home while non residents must remain in their hotel or in government isolation centers.