The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah and the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, yesterday evening (February 17) joined various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to distribute surgical masks to the elderly and grassroots families in need at different districts. The surgical masks were donated by private organisations to the Government earlier. Other Principal Officials will later join other NGOs to conduct visits and distribute surgical masks.
Together with Po Leung Kuk, Mrs Lam went to Tak Tin Estate in Lam Tin to distribute surgical masks, food, leaflets with health information and other goods to a few Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients who are also elderly living alone, conveying to them their warmest regards. Mrs Lam then visited the social housing units of Lok Sin Tong in Kowloon City and some subdivided units in the vicinity. While distributing surgical masks with the staff of Lok Sin Tong to the grassroots families, Mrs Lam also learned about their living conditions.
Meanwhile, Mr Lau and Dr Law went to Mong Kok and Tai Kok Tsui with the Mong Kok Kai Fong Association Limited and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals respectively to distribute to the elderly and the grassroots families anti-epidemic bags with surgical masks, alcohol-based handrub and cleansing products.
Due to the disease, the global supply of surgical masks remains tight and members of the public have difficulty in buying masks. The Chief Executive has therefore decided to pass several batches of surgical masks donated by the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation and other persons to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to NGOs so that they can re-distribute them to the underprivileged, especially the elderly. There are in total about 1.6 million such surgical masks. The move is aimed at sharing the relatively scarce resources with the community so as to fight the disease together. The Government will continue to increase the overall supply of surgical masks in Hong Kong through a multi-pronged approach and has substantially suppressed the usage of surgical masks by government departments. Priority will continue to be accorded to healthcare staff and other officers providing emergency public services in the distribution of surgical masks.
Mrs Lam said, "I appeal to the whole community to stay united and fight the disease together. Members of the public can support the Government's disease prevention and control efforts by staying at home as much as possible and reducing social contacts so as to minimise the risk of the spread of the disease and reduce the consumption of surgical masks."
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