Hong Kong researchers discover masks could pollute over 54,000 Olympic pools worth of seawater

Discarded surgical masks which fall into the sea could be releasing microplastics as they degrade, polluting an amount of water equal to 54,800 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Olympic pools worth of seawater

Dr He Yuhe at City University’s State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution made the discovery after spotting discarded masks at local beaches, which have seen an influx of local visitors looking for weekend haunts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing, and naturally if people are wearing surgical masks, then people are also dropping them,” He said.

Hong Kong food truck scheme to be axed as social unrest and coronavirus pandemic hammer tourism
Scheme launched back in 2017 started strong but food vendors were cut off from tourists by social unrest, Covid-19 pandemic
12 operators still doing business but only three have managed to build up brisk trade, government review finds

Of the 18 names of US officials submitted for visa applications to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics, 15 worked for the US State Department and one worked for the Pentagon, according to a source.

Hong Kong’s ailing food truck pilot scheme, originally designed to cater for tourists, has finally been axed by the government.
The Tourism Commission said the scheme would end on June 1, 2022, after a “comprehensive evaluation”. Most operators have lost money since its inception, but at least one is determined to continue if the government allows it to.
“The business development of food trucks serving as a tourism promotion facility was not satisfactory,” the commission said in a statement on Thursday. “Its development has not been able to achieve the policy objective of tourism promotion.”

Omicron threat points to need for independent global vaccine comparison mechanism
Fragmented, disparate information from vaccine makers and scientists is making it difficult for policymakers to update Covid-19 strategy

Omicron has already become the dominant variant of the coronavirus in the United States, accounting for over 73 per cent of new cases as of last Saturday. It looks inevitable that it will soon overtake the Delta strain worldwide.
What makes Omicron alarming is the high probability of “vaccine escape”, meaning even inoculated people may become infected, although their chances of severe illness should be lower than that for the unvaccinated.
Vaccine manufacturers around the world are racing against time to study how their shots fare against the new variant, both in laboratory settings and in real life. The findings are extremely important for policymakers: should the people be given a third shot? Which third shot should be chosen? Should there be an Omicron-specific vaccine?

Hong Kong’s 2021 IPO ranking slips to fourth place as fundraising shriveled by 20 per cent amid China’s regulatory clampdown
HKEX data confirms forecast by accounting firms such as KPMG, which predicted earlier that the Hong Kong exchange would not be in top three IPO venues globally this year
92 companies raised US$40.9 billion as of December 17 this year, 20 per cent less than the decade-high recorded in 2020 as a whole

Hong Kong’s annual tally of initial public offerings (IPOs) shrank this year for the first time since 2017, as a regulatory crackdown on technology companies in mainland China sent a chill through the market and hurt fundraising activity in the second half of 2021.
Several accounting firms, including KPMG, Ernst and Young and Deloitte had forecast earlier that the Hong Kong stock exchange would not make it into the top three IPO venues globally this year and was likely to drop to fourth place from second last year. Data from bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) confirmed this prediction on Tuesday.
A total of 92 companies raised HK$318.9 billion (US$40.88 billion) as of December 17 this year, 20 per cent less than the decade-high of US$50.9 billion recorded in 2020 as a whole, HKEX data shows.

Source: scmp

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