Hong Kong to give all 7.4 million citizens reusable masks May 04, 2020 0 150 12345 DPAHong KongHong Kong’s government will distribute reusable face masks to all 7.4 million citizens next week as the territory prepares to lift a first round of coronavirus-related restrictions.The planned handouts would come amid an easing of public health restrictions, including the reopening of libraries and outdoor fitness centres. Leading microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung, an early advocate for the use of face masks in response to the coronavirus, told the press on Sunday that, with the face masks in use and consistently low daily infection numbers, the city should be able to ease social-distancing guidelines and restart the economy “very soon.” Yuen said the masks will contain reusable filters that can be replaced. The masks themselves can be washed and reused up to 60 times. Citywide mask shortages have led to overnight lines and online scams resulting in losses of more than 6 million US dollars since Hong Kong confirmed its first case of Covid-19 in January. Yuen said he hoped the move would alleviate some of the mental and financial stress of acquiring masks during the pandemic. Earlier in the day, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan wrote on his blog that the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus and anti-government protests would likely result in the city’s worst fiscal year since the 1960s. Chan said, despite next week’s reopening of government services and lifting of restrictions, “we must act with caution as the global epidemic is still not resolved.” Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES North and South Korea exchange gunfire at border: Seoul May 04, 2020 0 625 Russia sees record rise as virus cases surge past 130,000 May 04, 2020 0 384 Rohingya refugees relocated to controversial Bangladesh island after weeks at sea May 04, 2020 0 102 Nine killed in Indian Kashmir gun battles AFP Srinagar Five security personnel and four suspected militants have been killed in two gun battles in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said on Sunday. Tensions are high in the restive Himalayan region .. Philippines temporarily bars incoming international passenger flights DPA Manila The Philippines on Sunday temporarily barred all incoming international passenger flights to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country and to free up quarantine facilities amid a surge in returning .. Journalist faces Malaysian police grilling for migrant coverage DPA Kuala Lumpur Malaysia’s communications and multimedia minister said on Sunday that he will ask officials not to “act against” a journalist facing police action for an article reporting on the arrests of hundreds .. Some Thai businesses reopen as public warned not to ‘let guard down’ DPA Bangkok Thailand partially reopened for business on Sunday, with people allowed to return to restaurants, markets, parks and sports clubs, as the government eased measures against the novel coronavirus, but also .. Nearly 100,000 evacuated after Uzbekistan dam bursts Tashkent Nearly 100,000 people have been displaced in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan after an Uzbek dam burst, flooding thousands of homes and destroying agricultural fields. The wall of the Sardoba reservoir dam in .. South Korea to ease social distancing rules AFP Seoul South Korea said Sunday it will loosen social distancing rules this week to allow gatherings and events to take place after the number of new coronavirus cases dropped significantly in recent days. The country .. India’s military salutes virus workers with rose petals, flypasts New Delhi Helicopters showered masked health workers with rose petals and jets roared across the skies Sunday as India’s military paid tribute to frontline workers battling the coronavirus pandemic. In one of the first ..