Hong Kong's appetite for luxury put on hold

By CHITRALEKHA BASU in Hong Kong | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-02-21 09:01
A couple walk along the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. CALVIN NG/CHINA DAILY

The outbreak has kept residents of the usually bustling city off the streets

Among the major victims of the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak in Hong Kong are the city's appetite for shopping and dining out. The fear of contracting the highly infectious virus has kept people away from usually bustling public places. Shopping malls, restaurants, theaters and community areas that normally overflow with people, especially on weekends, now appear largely deserted.

Most people are working from home and only step out when necessary. However, a few intrepid people are venturing outside, adding much-needed life to a city trying to recover from months of political protests.

Hong Kong suffered through the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic in 2003, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor recently announced a HK$28 billion ($3.6 billion) relief package to help medical workers, business owners and others get through the current outbreak. Hong Kong has recorded 65 confirmed cases and two deaths.

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