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Hong Kong: Supermarket shelves empty for fear of new lockdown

Panic markets in Hong Kong over fears of a new lockdown due to the outbreak of coronavirus have hit immigrants and refugees living in the former British colony particularly hard as they can only dispose of the aid they receive in supermarkets where they usually go. refugees and members of humanitarian organizations themselves say.

Hong Kong is awaiting the launch of a massive COVID control campaign as the number of cases rises and many city-state residents of at least seven million fear a new lockdown.

For the 14,000 immigrants in Hong Kong, the situation is extremely difficult as they are entitled to use the $ 153 (about 139 euros) food stamps they receive monthly in just one supermarket chain.

“We only have one place to go, this is ParknShop,” said a 68-year-old refugee from Africa, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The only things he recently managed to find on empty supermarket shelves were rice, canned tuna and sardines, he says.

The Refugee Care Network found in a recent survey that 73% of 124 respondents said they found it difficult to find food in supermarkets during the week of February 25 to March 4.

“When supermarket shelves are empty of panic markets and stockpiles, as has happened in recent weeks, the community of 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers can only turn to charities or churches just to have food on the table.” says Preston Cheung of the Justice Center Hong Kong, which contributed to the investigation.

“However, charities like ours can only offer limited help … Refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong are faced with food insecurity, along with limited access to basic necessities,” he said.


Source: Capital

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