Novel Coronavirus Relief Efforts
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Press Releases & Updates

22 FEB 2020

Novel Coronavirus Relief Efforts

With limited masks and disinfectants for sale, and the price of these items soaring in Hong Kong, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus is affecting vulnerable groups most as many of them can’t shoulder these expenses. That’s why we at Oxfam Hong Kong (OHK) have been working with underprivileged groups – like street cleaners and sanitation workers, low-income families, ethnic minorities, the elderly, chronically ill, and visually impaired to fight against the epidemic. Initiatives include distributing:

  • 12,000 bottles of hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to members of over 20 local organisations before Chinese New Year
  • Nearly 37,000 masks and to close to 4,000 street cleaners since the beginning of February
  • Six tonnes of rice to 2,540 low-income families since 21 February

We have continued to distribute masks and disinfectants to various groups, and aim to reach more than 14,000 people through the first stage of our response.

Distribution of relief to the most vulnerable 

Distributing Disinfectant Products to High-Risk/Vulnerable Groups

Before Chinese New Year, we at OHK distributed 12,000 bottles of Walch hand sanitisers and antibacterial wipes to members of over 20 local organisations. These included the Community Development Alliance, and Society for Community Organization, which work with low-income families; the Catholic Diocese of HK Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Workers, and Cleaning Worker's Union, which work with street cleaners; Concerning Home Care Service Alliance, which support elderly, chronically ill patients as well as carers; and organisations that work with the ethnic minority population. We also distributed 600 bottles of Walch hand sanitiser and 768 packs of antibacterial wipes to members of the Hong Kong Blind Union.

Distributing Masks to Cleaners

At the end of January, OHK received 2,000 and 5,000 masks from Health in Action and Tianjian Bird's Nest (HK) Company Limited respectively. At the beginning of February, the Li Ka Shing Foundation and Koo Tin Lok Charitable Foundation also donated 30,000 and 10,000 masks to us respectively. We worked with various partner organisations, including Catholic Diocese of HK Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Workers, the Cleaning Workers' Union, and Health In Action to distribute the masks and hand sanitiser, and shared ways to prevent the spread of the epidemic to close to 4,000 cleaners who work in high-risk conditions.

According to the Cleaning Workers’ Union’s estimates, 20 per cent of outsourced government cleaners are ethnic minorities, many of whom are Nepalese. During our visit with our partner organisation to the Lan Kwai Fong Refuse Collection Point, we brought a Nepali translator along to explain how they can help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Nepali – the language most of them are most comfortable with.


政策倡議: 要求政府關注清潔工處境

Advocacy: Care for our cleaners

While distributing masks and hand sanitiser, we worked with our partners to interview 149 cleaners from across 15 districts to understand cleaners’ working conditions during the epidemic. The results were announced at our joint press conference on 18 February; many interviewees said they were ill equipped. We thus urge the government and outsourced cleaning companies to provide cleaners with the protective equipment they need.

Learn more



Distributing Rice to Low-Income Families

To ease the burden on low-income families, especially with the price of necessities like masks going up, we at OHK began distributing six tonnes of rice to 2,540 families with partner organisations like Alliance for Children Development Rights, Alliance for Protection of Low-income Families, Community Development Alliance (Tin Shui Wai), H.K.S.K.H. Tseung Kwan O Aged Care Complex, Society for Community Organization and 1 Step Association.

We at OHK are currently discussing the next phase of our work with our partner organisations. We’ll continue to source masks and other items to ensure the poor are well protected against this epidemic, and ease their burdens. We’ll also continue to urge the government to do their part to protect the poor during this difficult time.

Organisations OHK is distributing relief to:

  • 1 Step Association
  • Alliance for Children Development Rights
  • Alliance for Social Protection of Low-income Families
  • Catering and Hotel Industries Employees General Union
  • Catholic Diocese of HK Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Workers – Hong Kong Island
  • Catholic Diocese of HK Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Workers – Kowloon
  • Catholic Diocese of HK Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Workers – New Territories
  • Celebrity Charity Fund Association Ltd.
  • Cleaning Workers’ Union
  • Concern for Grassroots' Livelihood Alliance
  • Concerning CSSA and Low Income Alliance
  • Concerning Grassroots' Housing Rights Alliance
  • Concerning Home Care Service Alliance
  • H.K.S.K.H. Tseung Kwan O Aged Care Complex
  • HK Islamic Youth Association
  • Hong Chi Association


  • Hong Kong Blind Union
  • Hong Kong Islamic Culture and Welfare Society
  • Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association
  • Islamic Union of HK
  • Jubilee Ministries
  • Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre
  • Kwun Tong Methodist Social Service
  • Mission Bridge
  • Muslim Council of Hong Kong
  • People Service Centre
  • Society for Community Organization
  • Tin Shui Wai Community Development Alliance
  • Tung Chung Community Development Alliance
  • United Muslim Association of HK
  • United Welfare Union


Together, we can make a difference!


OHK plans to work with local partners to scale up our support for street cleaners and other underprivileged groups in various districts across Hong Kong. We are now collecting face masks and hand sanitiser for those in urgent need. Your donation can help us fight the disease together!

We welcome

  • Adult and child size, three layer filter face masks that come in boxes, bags or are individually packaged
  • 20 to 100 ml bottles of hand sanitiser with at least 70 per cent alcohol

Collection points and time:

  • Oxfam Hong Kong office: 17/F China United Centre, 28 Marble Road, North Point, Hong Kong
    Monday to Friday, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm / 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • The Oxfam Shop: LG 8, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong
    Monday to Friday, 10:30 am - 6:30 pm / Saturday, 10:30 am - 4:30 pm

For enquiry, please call: 3120 5000