Hong Kong authorities are still struggling to contain the latest wave of Covid-19 transmissions. Measures include locking down thousands of residents in an Omicron-hit public housing estate for compulsory virus testing while looking after their needs during the confinement period. Regrettably, officials are not doing their job properly on either front, raising questions over the city’s strategies and just how prepared it is despite having coped with four major community outbreaks over the past two years. The inadequacies were made plain by the mounting complaints from those affected by the five-day lockdown in two housing blocks at Kwai Chung Estate. Since Friday, news sources and social media have been flooded with images of angry residents hitting out at chaotic testing arrangements, rubbish piling up in lift lobbies, meals not delivered on time and telephone hotlines left unanswered. Not only has the situation led to a barrage of criticism of the authorities, but also raised fears of a wider spread. Furthermore, questions have been raised as to whether confinement and testing orders at other housing blocks in the neighbourhood are going far enough. On Monday, another 98 local confirmed cases and 100 preliminary-positive cases were reported. With more than 130 so-called restriction and testing declarations made over the past year or so, such operations ought to be smooth and efficient. On Saturday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor defended the arrangements, saying the implementation of procedures was not as simple as pressing a button, but she conceded there was a link between the government’s ability and people’s satisfaction with arrangements. On a more positive note, residents are being generally cooperative. This is in stark contrast to protests against Covid restrictions in Washington and Brussels over the weekend, the latter of which ended in violent clashes with police. That said, the city’s authorities must not take compliance for granted. The escalating number of premises subject to notices of compulsory testing orders each day is not only putting facilities to the test, but also people’s patience and tolerance. Experts have warned that the fifth wave of the virus may last up to two to three months. That makes sound strategy with accompanying emergency responses all the more important. In addition to enhancing manpower deployment and coordination for testing and lockdowns, a more proactive approach is also needed to increase the number of vaccinations. Health minister Sophia Chan Siu-chee is adamant that a “dynamic” zero-infection strategy is still achievable, saying the government is fully prepared. She has to prove this is the case.