Hong Kong leader increases funds to tackle coronavirus as death toll exceeds 1800

Hong Kong – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday increased a relief fund to tackle the impact of the coronavirus outbreak as she urged residents to accept the government’s quarantine plans for returning passengers from a cruise ship stranded in Japan.

Lam said the government would increase handouts to tackle the outbreak to HK$28 billion ($3.60 billion) from HK$25 billion pledged previously, to ease the impact on the Chinese-ruled city’s battered economy.

Lam last week announced one-off payments to businesses across the Asian financial hub and the Hospital Authority.

The coronavirus has killed more than 1 800 people across the border in mainland China and one of 60 patients in Hong Kong.

Anger has been brewing over Lam’s handling of the crisis, with critics calling on her to shut the entire border with mainland China and some medical workers going on strike.