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Hong Kong flags deficit to pay for COVID-19 battle

Government rolls out tax breaks, handouts to ease pain of tighter virus measures

Hong Kong is turning public housing estates into mass quarantine facilities as it battles the city's worst virus outbreak.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's spending will hit an all-time high this fiscal year, pushing the city into a budget deficit, as it rolls out tax breaks and handouts to ease the pain of tighter COVID-19 measures, its financial chief said Wednesday.

The city of 7.4 million has been hammered by its worst virus outbreak since the pandemic, prompting the government this week to announce mandatory testing for all residents and targeted lockdowns to contain the spread.

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