Editorial:Thoughtless arrangements for mandatory testing

【明報專訊】Although the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks is coming in all its fury, the government's implementation of the mandatory testing order for the dance club infection cluster has been full of confusion and carelessness. As stressed by the authorities, our public and private laboratories have a combined capacity of testing tens of thousands of samples a day. That is supposed to be more than sufficient for dealing with the dance club infection cluster. The bottleneck and confusion seen over the past three days did not stem from insufficient testing capacity, but the authorities' thoughtless arrangements and inappropriate implementation of measures. The number of confirmed infections linked to that cluster has kept ballooning. The issuance of the mandatory testing order reflects the urgency of the situation and one cannot rule out the existence of many more asymptomatic inflections out there. However, the authorities have allowed the testing work to be carried out at a slow tempo. The testing facilities simply dismiss those waiting in line when the testing quota is reached. Those who have yet to get tested or are still waiting for the results can still hang around in the community, thus increasing the risk of spreading the virus. Ten months into the fight against the pandemic, Hong Kong has already been equipped with many tools and means for pandemic control. The crux of the problem is whether the authorities are really zeroing in on ''zero infection in general'' and implementing the measures in a swift and decisive manner.