Gov’t efforts to ensure mask supply prove popular

The efforts to ensure an uninterrupted supply of surgical masks to the public has proven the most popular government measure among a raft of other policies introduced to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
That is according to a survey of Macau residents conducted by a local association between January 30 and February 1. The survey analyzed nearly 200 responses to questionnaires from respondents in 16 industries, including submissions from 11 companies.
The Doctoral Think Tank Committee of the Macao Patriotic Education Youth Association found that of the top five anti-epidemic measures with which respondents were most satisfied are the Macau citizens surgical mask supply policy (88%) and the Hubei traveler immigration measures (82%).
Some 81% of the respondents are also satisfied with the Chinese Lunar New Year event cancellation measure, while 78% were satisfied with the isolation measures for Hubei travelers staying in Macau.
About three-quarters of the respondents were also pleased with the deferral of class resumption for all schools and subsidized nurseries.
The measures taken by the government contrast with the situation in Hong Kong. The neighboring SAR has struggled with a shortage of face masks and the government there has faced criticism for leaving the task of their supply to private enterprises.
Meanwhile, measures that industries most want the government to take, in sequence, are reductions in or exemptions from corporate taxes or increasing occupational tax deduction rates, followed by providing more loans, bailouts, and other financial measures, as well as reducing utility bills and providing more social security measures.
The survey shows that in the transportation, warehousing, and communications industries, 42% of the respondents said they were temporarily suspended or unable to operate. Fifty percent felt pressures to their cash flow, loan repayments, and order deliveries.
Meanwhile, in the catering industry, more than half of the respondents expressed they were experiencing difficulties paying employees’ salaries and repaying loans, while nearly 50% of the respondents expressed that they had experienced pressure repaying loans and obtaining new orders.
Earlier this week, another survey showed that nine out of 10 members of the public are satisfied with the local government’s measures to halt the spread of the virus.
The survey held by the Macao Polling Research Association shows a strong degree of positive feedback from the public.
Conducted between February 6 and 8, this second survey interviewed nearly 2,000 local residents, asking for their opinion on the epidemic prevention behaviors adopted by the authorities, and their evaluation of the government’s performance.
The respondents were generally optimistic about the future handling of the epidemic.
More than half of the respondents believe that the epidemic will ease after one month. More than 85% of respondents believe that Macau can effectively control the epidemic. LV

Categories Macau