Repeated Covid-19 outbreaks have taught Hong Kong a hard lesson that the pandemic cannot be curbed without effective strategies and broad public support. Worryingly, the city has been put to the test again in the wake of spiralling infections in recent days. There is every reason to stay alert and do whatever it takes to ward off a possible resurgence. Until last week, the government was seemingly content with a daily range of 300 local and imported cases, which is a significant drop from some 77,000 during the height of the fifth wave in March. But discomfort grew when the caseloads crept from 200-to-300 per day a month ago to 543 on Monday. Another 489 cases were reported yesterday. Describing the rise as a cause for concern, outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was adamant that it was too early to say the city had already been hit by a sixth wave. She stopped short of tightening social-distancing measures at this stage; but there will be no further easing of those measures and border controls until the end of the month. It will not take long to prove whether such an approach is the way forward. The government’s decision to opt for the status quo for the time being apparently stems from the city’s high vaccination rate – 87.4 per cent for two doses and 60 per cent for the third shot – and the relatively mild symptoms of the Omicron variant. But there were criticisms that the previous crises were aggravated by officials’ complacency and indecision. The stakes have been raised even higher by the prospect of a state leader arriving at the end of the month to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese rule. Lam conceded the government would foster the conditions for the visit, but declined to reveal further details. How this will shape the antivirus strategy in the coming weeks remains to be seen. Hong Kong snack chain Aji Ichiban shuts all 20 retail shops amid Covid-19 losses Experience has shown that vigilance and timely responses must prevail if we are to curb the pandemic. The ever-evolving nature of the coronavirus and the possibility of more transmissible variants mean the threat of further outbreaks can never be ruled out. The government must not just sit back and hope infection numbers fall by themselves. The resumption of contact tracing and quarantine for the infected is the right step forward. Separately, the widening cluster involving bar customers not wearing masks properly also underlines the need for more vigorous law enforcement. The authorities must also crack down on those who try to get around the vaccination pass requirement by submitting fake positive rapid test results online.