Any assessment of the government’s handling of the fifth wave will be left to the next administration, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Sunday.
Lam said at a press conference Sunday that any large-scale evaluations of the current administration’s handling of the Covid
-19 epidemic will be left to the next government, with herself in an advisory role.
Lam said that while she is indeed open to the idea of establishing a review committee, the current administration should not be distracted from the ongoing crisis.
Instead, any in-depth evaluation of the government’s epidemic measures will be conducted by the next administration.
“A public health crisis of this magnitude deserves a full review,” she said. “But now is not the time to be distracted from the current situation.”
“I believe it would be more appropriate if the next administration takes up the review. If my opinion as the official bearing responsibility for epidemic measures is needed, I will be happy to provide my input,” Lam added.
Lam’s comments were in response to questions on whether a review committee would be established under her lead.
She also clarified that while the Labor and Welfare Bureau has set up a cross-departmental working group, it focuses on improving anti-epidemic measures for the elderly and those in residential care homes and has nothing to do with reviewing the government’s handling of the outbreak.
Experts have pointed out that while younger Hongkongers have accepted the vaccination drive, the elderly remain hesitant, which has led to residential care home outbreaks being one of the primary reasons for surging caseloads and deaths in the fifth wave.
Lam did not respond to questions about who should bear responsibility for the city’s Covid
-19 deaths, only saying that she was “very saddened by the number of deaths in this fifth wave.”
She lauded mainland medical advice and support as Hong Kong’s primary anti-epidemic strategy.