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HK govt to give reusable mask to residents; zero cases reported today

03 May 2020

By The SUN
Experts say masks should remain as an important tool against Covid-19

The risk of getting Covid-19 may have subsided substantially, but this has not stopped a plan by Hong Kong government officials to give reusable face mask to the city’s 7 million people.

This comes as no new infection was again reported today, May 3, keeping Hong Kong’s overall tally at 1,039. The number of recovered and discharged patients has risen to 879, for a 85% recovery rate.

No new local infection has been detected for the past two weeks.An earlier five-day streak of no infections ended on May 1 two residents who recently returned from Pakistan tested positive.
Talking to RTHK, leading microbiologist Yeun Kwok-yung said each Hong Kong resident will be given a reusable face mask next week.

The masks are said to have filters that could be changed, and they could be washed up to 60 times.

The masks will come from the Innovation and Technology Bureau, which will take care of announcing when or how they will be distributed.
Yuen said wearing face masks remain an important tool to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We notice that all cluster infections in Hong Kong happened when people didn’t wear face masks at restaurants, karaokes, bars, gyms etc, so you can see wearing face masks is really important,” he said.

“I hope residents don’t have to worry anymore after they get the reusable face masks, because it’s still difficult to buy face masks, which are quite expensive,” he said.

Yuen said the government could relax social-distancing rules now that there has been no local infection for the past two weeks. But he warned restrictions could be re-imposed if new community infections surfaced again.

For example, he said cinemas or theatres may be reopened, as long as the viewers wear face masks.

But he said it will be more difficult to lift the restrictions on bars, gyms and restaurants for as long as measures to prevent cross infections are not identified.

All venues that encourage large gatherings such as cinemas, amusement parks, theaters, party places, clubs, karaoke bars and beauty parlors have been shut as part of social distancing until at least May 7.

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