Successful control of pandemic top priority, says HK financial secretary

The successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a top priority of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and the pandemic should be contained as soon as possible to protect the health of the citizens and maintain the vitality of the economy, said Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government.

2020 has been very difficult for for many parts of the world due to COVID-19, economic recession, geopolitics issues, and other factors, Chan said in an article published on Sunday.

Chan said COVID-19 threatens the lives of residents, as well as social and economic stability. Therefore, the successful control of the pandemic has become the top priority.

Recently, the HKSAR government has adopted measures, including tightening restrictions on entry to Hong Kong, special transportation for new arrivals and extending the quarantine period. The vaccination plans will also be carried out in an orderly manner, Chan said.

"We expect the situation would be better in 2021, and we can grab the opportunities of domestic development as well as external economic recovery," he said.

Hong Kong's economy has contracted for four consecutive quarters. Its GDP for the third quarter of 2020 decreased by 3.4 percent from a year earlier, compared with a decrease of 9 percent in the second quarter.

(Cover image: Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government. Jin Dong /CMG)

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