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Honolulu, state and community leaders address coronavirus fears affecting Chinatown businesses

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A shopper donned a face mask while shopping at Kekaulike Mall today. Community leaders and Chinatown business representatives held a press conference at Kekaulike Mall to encourage the public to shop for groceries and dine at Chinatown restaurants, shops. Chinatown business remains brisk during the weekend but has experienced a 20 to 50 percent decrease during the weekdays due to coronavirus fears, officials said.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A shopper donned a face mask while shopping at Kekaulike Mall today. Community leaders and Chinatown business representatives held a press conference at Kekaulike Mall to encourage the public to shop for groceries and dine at Chinatown restaurants, shops. Chinatown business remains brisk during the weekend but has experienced a 20 to 50 percent decrease during the weekdays due to coronavirus fears, officials said.

  • DENNIS ODA / 2018
                                An overview of Chinatown. Coronavirus panic has kept customers away from Chinatown restaurants and businesses around the world.

    DENNIS ODA / 2018

    An overview of Chinatown. Coronavirus panic has kept customers away from Chinatown restaurants and businesses around the world.

Community leaders urged Hawaii residents and visitors to not be apprehensive of shopping for groceries in Chinatown.

At a press conference today in Chinatown, officials addressed the impact of coronavirus fears on businesses in Chinatown. Coronavirus panic has kept customers away from Chinatown restaurants and businesses around the world.

“Please support Chinatown and the businesses,” said Michele Choy, president of Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which represents merchants in Chinatown. “They are vital to our community.”

Chinatown Business and Community Association President Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock echoed the same sentiments and said more has been done to improve the safety in Chinatown by combating homelessness and crime.

“It is safe to eat and visit our restaurants and shops,” she said.

A Japanese couple tested positive for the coronavirus following a recent trip to Hawaii.

Also attending the press conference were Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City Council member Carol Fukunaga, Department of Emergency Management Director Hiro Toiya, Honolulu Emergency Services Department Deputy Director Ian Santee and Hawaii Department of Transportation Medical Director Dr. James Ireland.

The press conference was held at Kekaulike Mall between King and Hotel streets.

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