February 18 - 24, 2020


Anti-epidemic funding welcomed

Chief Executive Carrie Lam welcomed the passage of the funding application for the Anti-epidemic Fund by the Legislative Council (LegCo) Finance Committee (Feb 21). Conveying her heartfelt thanks to LegCo Members for their support and approval of the funding application for the US$3.8 billion Anti-epidemic Fund to fight the COVID-19 virus, Mrs Lam said, “The Government will continue to assess the impact of the epidemic on society and listen to comments from all sectors, while introducing more support measures as necessary.”

Chartered flights for Hong Kong residents

Three chartered flights, arranged by the Hong Kong SAR Government, brought home 193 Hong Kong residents who were quarantined for the novel coronavirus onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. The chartered flights arrived in Hong Kong on Feb 20, 22 and 23 respectively. These passengers are under quarantine at the quarantine center at Chun Yeung Estate for 14 days. As of Feb 22, there were a total of 634 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among passengers on board the Diamond Princess cruise, of which 68 were Hong Kong residents. They are under treatment in Japan. A number of Immigration Department officers are staying in Japan to continue to provide assistance to the Hong Kong residents who are receiving medical treatment there.

Attaching great importance to the situation of Hong Kong people in Hubei, the Government announces that chartered flights will be arranged to bring them back in batches and as soon as possible. .

Following the issuance (Feb 24) of the Red Outbound Travel Alert on Korea due to the health risks arising from the COVID-19 outbreak there, Hong Kong will impose travel restrictions on non-Hong Kong residents arriving from Korea. Those travelling from South Korea, or who have travelled to South Korea within the past two weeks, will be denied entry to Hong Kong starting Feb 25. The Department of Health will also strengthen port health and quarantine measures on inbound travellers arriving from Korea.

Dissemination of anti-epidemic information enhanced

The Hong Kong SAR Government has enhanced its online and social media platforms to better disseminate information on COVID-19. These include the Interactive Map Dashboard (chp-dashboard.geodata.gov.hk/covid-19/en.html) and a thematic website (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html). The Government also launched (Feb 21) a Telegram channel, “Hong Kong Anti-epidemic Information Channel” (t.me/HKFIGHTCOVID19). The Government will continue to abide by the principle of openness and transparency in handling the information dissemination work to keep the public well-informed.


Priority continues to be accorded for surgical mask parcels

Hongkong Post continues to accord top priority for the delivery of surgical masks, with the aim of delivering all inbound items of surgical masks to the hands of the public within the week of Feb 24 - Mar 1. In a statement (Feb 21), Hongkong Post said it has all along been prioritizing the handling of Speedpost items containing surgical masks. It is estimated that more than 120,000 such items would have been delivered since after the Lunar Year through this past weekend.



• Overall consumer prices for January rose by 1.4% year-on-year, smaller than the corresponding increase (2.9%) in December 2019. Netting out the effects of all Government’s one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI (i.e. the underlying inflation rate) in January 2020 was 3.7%, larger than that in December 2019 (2.9%).

• The volume of total exports of goods in December grew 3.8% year-on-year while the volume of imports of goods fell by 2.0%. Comparing 2019 with 2018, the volume of Hong Kong’s total exports of goods and imports of goods decreased by 5.0% and 7.6% respectively.

• The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 3.4% in November 2019 - January 2020 from 3.3% in preceding three-month period. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.2% in the two periods.


Hong Kong and its Basic Law

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Put into effect on July 1, 1997, it enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems".

Q: Can Hong Kong conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions or international organizations, and participate in international conferences?
A: Hong Kong plays an active role in the international arena and maintains close contact with its international partners. The HKSAR may under the authorization of the CPG conclude certain agreements with foreign states or regions, or may on its own, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, maintain and develop relations and conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions and relevant international organizations in the appropriate fields.

Since Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland, the HKSAR Government, authorized by the CPG, has concluded about 600 bilateral agreements in accordance with the Basic Law, including air services agreements, visa abolition agreements, free trade agreements, and cultural co-operation agreements etc. In addition, the HKSAR may, as members of delegations of the People’s Republic of China, or in such other capacity as may be permitted by the CPG and the international organization or conference concerned, or using the name “Hong Kong, China”, participate in relevant international organizations and conferences. (BL Articles 96; 133; 151; 152; 155)

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