Hong Kong is seeking more than $3 billion in funds to inject into its market following economic strain resulting from its COVID-19 control measures.

The local government in the semi-autonomous region of China on Monday applied to the Finance Committee of its Legislative Council (LegCo) to seek approval for its bid to seek $3.4 billion for epidemic prevention and control.

This amount is expected to support around 67,000 businesses and 750,000 individuals affected by COVID-19 and social distance tightening measures.

The bill will be taken up for deliberations by the LegCo on Tuesday during its virtual sitting.

Hong Kong is undergoing an intense wave of the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, logged more than 2,071 infections.

The region’s public broadcaster RTHK reported that the government is mulling a pandemic-related unemployment subsidy scheme for those who lost their jobs since last December.

Eligible beneficiaries will have to prove they were jobless for over a month to get the one-time cash payment of $1,282. Around 300,000 people are expected to benefit from the scheme.

LegCo has noted the “stringent social distancing measures brought in to curb the omicron outbreak are hitting businesses and the labor market.”

Hong Kong has reported 22,980 COVID-19 cases, including 219 deaths, since the outbreak of the pandemic in December 2019.

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