An inevitable question has been raised as the fourth Covid-19 wave continues to wreak havoc – what is wrong with the city’s anti-epidemic efforts? For nearly three weeks, daily infections have been hovering at an uncomfortably high level without signs of abating. Even members of staff at the office leading the fight – the Centre for Health Protection – have come down with the virus, while clusters linked to dance venues and a public housing estate grow. The disturbing situation warrants serious reflection, not just on the part of the authorities, but everyone in society. This is not the first time the government has come under fire for doing “too little, too late”. The decision to spare tenants of the affected housing block from compulsory quarantine and virus tests for now has understandably drawn criticism. The approach differs from that previously taken at public flats hit by outbreaks. This is not to say officials have done nothing. Belated as they are, various restrictions have been restored progressively. They include reducing business hours at restaurants and limiting public gatherings again, but such measures still fall short of those in place at the height of earlier outbreaks. This may have given the public the wrong message that the situation is not as bad as in the past. The way people get on with their daily routine reflects a glaring lack of urgency in combating the crisis. While there are those who line up for tests voluntarily or as required by law, many more appear oblivious to health risks, as reflected in the crowds at shopping centres and on public transport over the weekend. Dance off: the niche social scene behind Hong Kong’s biggest Covid-19 cluster Fears of a wider outbreak are growing with the number of inbound travellers and get-togethers increasing in the run-up to Christmas. Having weathered waves of the virus since January, the city should be in a better position to have the epidemic under control. Not only do we know more about Covid-19, but also many new measures have been put in place. Yet the fourth wave has already seen some 1,500 infections, with a considerable number of an unknown source. The hidden transmission chains, as experts warn, may result in “explosive” outbreaks. Officials and the community must tackle the crisis together with a stronger sense of urgency.