Lam’s feedback got here after Chinese President Xi Jinping advised Hong Kong’s leaders their “overriding mission” was to stabilise and management the coronavirus.
The surge in cases and tighter guidelines have battered town’s retail sector, with the Retail Management Association (HKRMA) saying on Thursday retail site visitors was down 40 per cent from December.
“If the pandemic gets worse and if our rents are kept at the level now…we will not survive,” mentioned Annie Tse, chairwoman of HKRMA. “Since protests and COVID it’s been almost three years, how much more cash can we burn?,” she mentioned, referring to anti-government demonstrations in 2019.
The affiliation, which represents about 9,000 stores and employs over half of the native retail workforce, urged the federal government to power builders to supply lease aid for tenants and embody the sector in an anti-epidemic fund.
HKRMA expects flat year-on-year development for retail gross sales for the January to June interval, and mentioned development would simply sink into detrimental territory within the second half if the scenario persists.
Hong Kong has adopted the identical “dynamic zero” COVID-19 technique, employed by mainland China to suppress all outbreaks.
But the dimensions and pace of the extremely contagious Omicron variant of the virus has left authorities scrambling. Hospitals are working at most or over capability and lengthy queues have shaped outdoors testing centres, with some individuals ready hours.
Authorities mentioned they might not sustain their testing and isolation mandates, leading to a backlog that might not maintain tempo with the each day an infection numbers.
China has mentioned it will assist Hong Kong bolster its testing, therapy and quarantine capability, and safe assets from fast antigen kits and protecting gear to contemporary greens.
Hong Kong has recorded round 35,000 infections because the begin of the pandemic, and greater than 250 deaths, far fewer than different related sized main cities.
However, medical consultants have warned each day cases might surge to twenty-eight,000 by the top of March amid worries about excessive ranges of vaccine hesitancy among the many aged.