Hong Kong Budget 2020: HK$10,000 cash handouts for all adult permanent residents among raft of relief measures

    sh33pymd
    By sh33pymd,

    Source: HKFP/SCMP/On.cc

    Edited by sh33pymd@asianeu.net/forums/

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    Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po is announcing a huge relief package for Hongkongers. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

    Dozens of members from pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong protested outside the Legislative Council ahead of the budget speech. Photo: Joanathan Wong

    Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 and above will each receive a cash handout of HK$10,000 (US$1,200) in a HK$120 billion (US$15 billion) relief deal rolled out by the government to ease the burden on individuals and companies, while saving jobs.

    Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po confirmed an earlier Post report when he unveiled the payment during his budget speech on Wednesday morning, along with a full guarantee on loans taken out by companies to pay wages and taxes. He has been under intense pressure from lawmakers to dip into the government's large fiscal reserves of about HK$1.1 trillion to help the city ride out the economic slump. The economy has been battered by the 

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    , sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill. The relief package of HK$120 billion doubles last year’s sum.

    KEY MEASURES

    • Every Hong Kong permanent resident aged above 18 will receive HK$10,000 in cash, while the government also offers 100 per cent guarantee to Hong Kong companies taking low interest loans
    • Individuals will receive rebates in salary and property tax, other government fees and a month of lower public housing rent
    • The monthly allowance for low income families will be doubled and fees waived for public examinations to get into universities
    • Lower profit tax for companies, government rents and rates to be reduced, electricity bills will be subsidised

    Man hands himself in after 29 pets hurled from window of New Territories block

    sh33pymd
    By sh33pymd,

    Source: SCMP/On.cc/Youtube

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    A 49-year-old man surrendered himself to police on Monday night in connection with the discovery of 29 pets which were apparently hurled from a window of his high-rise residential block in Hong Kong.

    Fifteen of the animals – nine chinchillas, a guinea pig, a cat, two rabbits, a parrot and a rodent – died from the fall. The 14 surviving pets – nine cats and five chinchillas – were sent to a clinic in the Wan Chai headquarters of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), for examination and treatment. “It remains to be seen if they can make a recovery,” one police source said on Tuesday. They were all found in a path and on the hillside behind block 19 of private housing estate Hong Kong Garden, off the Tsing Lung Tau section of Castle Peak Road in the New Territories last Friday. Police arrested the suspect, a local resident, for cruelty to animals, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a fine of up to HK$200,000 (US$25,600). As of 1pm on Tuesday, the suspect was being detained at Tsuen Wan Police Station for questioning, and had not been charged. The SPCA said it was helping police to treat the injured animals and keep them for evidence.

    Officers were called to the housing estate soon after 1pm last Friday when a security guard made the grim find. The animals were found either dead or severely injured, most of them scattered on the ground and in a ditch next to the building. Four of the injured cats were found on a nearby slope on Saturday and Sunday. The carcasses were handed to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for examination, according to the SPCA. The source said extensive inquiries led officers to the fifth-floor flat of the building, where police believed the animals were kept prior to the discovery. He said the registered occupant of the flat was identified, but he was not at home during a police raid over the weekend.  “Police executed a search warrant on the premises and recovered evidence from inside that suggests the animals were kept there as pets prior to being dropped from a height,” the source said. The suspect was arrested when he turned himself in to police at Tsuen Wan Police Station, accompanied by his lawyer, on Monday evening.

    The source said officers were still trying to find out why the pets were thrown from the building, and whether the man was their owner. It was understood the cats did not have identification chips. The source said further arrests were possible. Police appealed to anyone with information about the case to call investigators on 3661 2420.


    'Ip Man 4: The Finale' becomes third highest grossing Chinese film at North American box office in five years

    sh33pymd
    By sh33pymd,

    Source: shinje.cnnew/On.cc

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    Chinese martial arts film "Ip Man 4: The Finale" grossed more than US$310,000 in its third weekend in North America with a 19-day total of US$3.49 million through Sunday, making it the third highest grossing Chinese film at the North American box office in recent five years.

    According to the studio figures released on Monday by US analytics firm Comscore, the latest installment in the Chinese martial arts film franchise Ip Man brought in US$316,437 from 119 locations with a modest per-theater average of US$2,659, ranking 25th among 79 films on the North American weekend box office chart. "Ip Man 4: The Finale" passed 2016's fantasy film "The Mermaid" which grossed US$3.24 million in North America to become the third highest grossing Chinese film at the North American box office in recent five years, only behind sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth" and animated hit "Ne Zha" which took in US$5.87 million and US$3.67 million last year in North America, respectively.

    "Ip Man 4: The Finale" was released by Well Go USA Entertainment in Chinese and English with English and Chinese subtitles in select North American cities including Sacramento, New York and San Francisco. Directed by Wilson Yip, the new film sees Donnie Yen reprising the title role as the legendary Wing Chun kung fu master. In the film, following the death of his wife, Ip Man travels to the United States in order to ease the tensions between the local kung fu masters and his star student, Bruce Lee, and gets involved in a dispute between local armed forces and a Chinese martial arts school in San Francisco's Chinatown.

    The US review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives "Ip Man 4: The Finale" a score of 92 percent based on 24 critics' reviews and 3,397 Internet Movie Database (IMDb) users have given a weighted average vote of 7.5 out of 10 for the film to date.


    Coronavirus: Hong Kong confirms first death, a 39-year-old man

    sh33pymd
    By sh33pymd,

    Source: SCMP/youtube/On.cc

    bkn-20200204101744070-0204_00822_001_01p.jpg?20200204143842

    A 39-year-old man has become the first to die in Hong Kong after being diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus.

    The patient, who was being treated for the virus at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, died on Tuesday morning after his condition deteriorated, the Hospital Authority has confirmed. He had suffered sudden heart failure, according to medical sources.

    The Whampoa Garden resident was previously identified as Hong Kong’s 13th confirmed case of the novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan. His death is the second fatality linked with the outbreak that has been reported outside mainland China. He had been to Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, on January 21 and returned to Hong Kong two days later via the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, before developing a fever on January 31. The man was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei on the same day, where he was confirmed to be infected before his transfer to an isolation ward at Princess Margaret Hospital. He had underlying health issues, according to information previously disclosed by the Centre for Health Protection.

    The deceased man had lived in block 1, site 11 of Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom with his mother, the government had revealed earlier. She was confirmed on February 2 as Hong Kong’s 15th case, but did not have a recent history of travel. The 72-year-old was believed to have caught the virus from close contact with her son, health officials said earlier.

    The Hospital Authority confirmed at about 10.30am on Tuesday the man had died in Princess Margaret Hospital after his condition deteriorated. More details would be revealed in a joint press conference held by the authority and the Centre for Health Protection at 4.30pm, a spokesman added.

    Health authorities have confirmed 15 cases of the coronavirus in Hong Kong. More than 20,600 people have been been infected across the world with the death toll in its hundreds. The death of the Hong Kong patient was only the second reported outside mainland China, after the Philippines announced a fatality over the weekend.


    China coronavirus: three new cases test positive in Hong Kong, potentially increasing total number of patients to five

    sh33pymd
    By sh33pymd,

    Source: SCMP

    As of Friday noon, the death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus in mainland China hit 26, among at least 875 confirmed cases. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

    Travellers at the departure hall of the West Kowloon rail station. The first coronavirus patient in Hong Kong was detected upon arrival at the station. Photo: HandoutTravellers at the departure hall of the West Kowloon rail station. The first coronavirus patient in Hong Kong was detected upon arrival at the station. Photo: Handout

    Hong Kong has three new cases of patients testing positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, potentially increasing the total number to five so far.

    Centre for Health Prevention controller Wong Ka-hing on Friday said preliminary results showed that two patients were infected although laboratory staff were doing further tests. The Post has also learned that a third patient tested positive for the coronavirus. Wong also revealed that Japan’s second confirmed patient had taken a plane to Hong Kong on a transfer flight to the Northeast Asian country, the patient had told authorities. Wong said the latest cases involved two 62-year-old women who had been in Wuhan within 14 days of falling ill. One was being treated in Tuen Mun Hospital and the other at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin.

    Two medical sources told the Post the woman in Tuen Mun Hospital had arrived in Hong Kong on January 19 and had gone to a hospital in Wuhan to visit a patient. The woman, a resident of Hankou in Wuhan, went to Tuen Mun Hospital on Thursday night. In Hong Kong, she stayed at her daughter’s home, they said. The second source said the woman in the Sha Tin hospital was one of two patients from Wuhan who tried to escape when they found out they needed to be put in isolation. Her husband also tested positive for the coronavirus, one of the sources said, making him the fifth case. Authorities had found the couple and put them in quarantine. Wong said the patient in Japan was from Wuhan and had taken a flight to Hong Kong on January 19. The patient then travelled on to Tokyo’s Narita airport on CX500. Cathay Pacific Group later said the patient had arrived on KA853.
     
    The first coronavirus patient in Hong Kong was a 39-year-old mainland tourist, who arrived at West Kowloon on Tuesday. The second, a 56-year-old Hongkonger, had visited Wuhan. The latest developments came as authorities reported 70 more suspected cases of infection as of noon over the past day as a result of broader criteria for people showing symptoms. The youngest case is a seven-month-old baby and the oldest patient aged 91. The total number of suspected cases reached 236 as of 8am on Friday. By evening, authorities said there were 96 patients hospitalised and in isolation, with 91 in stable condition. Two others were in serious condition, and another three were in critical condition because of their own illnesses.

    Earlier in the day, Dr Chung Kin-lai, the Hospital Authority’s director of quality and safety, said the increase was due to officials widening their reporting Wong and respiratory medicine expert Professor David Hui Shu-cheong said the city had stepped up measures at border checkpoints, but neither could say whether Hong Kong should close its borders with the mainland or ban suspected cases from entering. “I think we have been stepping up port health measures. But closing the border is beyond the health authority – it’s not a port health prevention control measure,” Wong said. Hui said it was decision to be taken at diplomatic levels. He added the city had not yet seen infections in the community as occurred during the Sars outbreak in 2003. But Hui urged the organisers of mass events to think more about the risks involved. “For example, the marathon, many people from different places will gather and participate, including some who might be coming from infected areas,” he said. He suggested the public wear masks on public transport or in crowded areas such as shopping malls. “It is not practical for ordinary people to wear a surgical mask all day,” he said, advising residents to use a new mask after taking off an old one to eat food.

    As of Friday noon, the death toll in mainland China hit 26, among at least 875 confirmed cases. The virus has spread to other areas of the world, including Thailand, Japan, and South Korea, while Macau reported its second case on Thursday, a 66-year-old tourist from Wuhan. The two confirmed cases in Hong Kong were treated as “highly suspected” after preliminary diagnostic tests returned positive results on Wednesday. Subsequent DNA test results confirmed their diagnosis on Thursday.

    Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable diseases branch at the Centre for Health Protection, said three people who had been in close contact with the two confirmed coronavirus patients in the city had been placed in quarantine at Princess Margaret Hospital and Tuen Mun Hospital. Another five people who had close contacts with the two patients had been placed in quarantine at one of the two holiday camps set for the purpose – Lady MacLehose Holiday Village and Lei Yue Mun Park. “So far, we’ve been able to trace 18 people who had close contacts with the two patients. We will keep tracking them,” she said. She said as long as those who had close contacts with the two confirmed patients were not tested positive for the virus, there was little chance for a massive outbreak of the disease in Hong Kong.

    Dr Chung of the Hospital Authority said the sharp rise in the suspected cases had posed a huge burden on isolation wards, with half of 570 isolation beds taken while more than 70 per cent of 309 isolation wards occupied. He said the Hospital Authority might have to reduce non-emergency medical procedures and services during Lunar New Year to cope with the rising demand for medical resources and manpower. “During this period, doctors may reduce their outpatient services. We will operate our drugs refill clinics to ensure patients get their prescribed medicines. I beg for public understanding,” he said. Dr Chung said some medical workers who had shown flu symptoms had been arranged staff accommodation on various hospital premises. “So far, no medical worker has been tested positive,” he said. He also said while the authority was trying to rent hotel rooms to temporarily accommodate its workers, most hotels had turned down its requests. He said a couple of patients who had come to hospitals with flu symptoms following visits to Wuhan, tried to run away when they knew they would be isolated. “The hospitals called police and intercepted them in the vicinity. They have already been placed in quarantine,” he said. There was also widespread online rumours that Chui Tak-yi, undersecretary for food and health who recently visited Wuhan to study the situation, was suspected of having been infected. But the government strongly refuted the claim, saying all members of the delegation to Wuhan were in good health.

    In Macau, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau announced on Friday that following the Lunar New Year holiday, classes in non-higher education schools would be resumed on February 10 or later, instead of February 3. Schools have been asked to make necessary arrangements so students can carry out their exercises at home, while private teaching support centres and continuing education institutions have also been asked to postpone the restart dates of their activities to February 10 or later, depending on the situation at that time.

    Two patients in Macau, who have been tested positive for the virus, are receiving treatment at the Conde S Januario Hospital. Both of them are in a stable condition. Meanwhile, authorities have cancelled some activities associated with the annual Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival in Tai Po due to the outbreak, though residents are still welcome to visit the wishing tree.


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