Shanghai launches environmental disinfection campaign to fight COVID-19

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A volunteer delivers online orders to residents of a local community under lockdown.

Shanghai will launch an environmental disinfection campaign in key areas of the city to curb the current resurgence of COVID-19, according to the Shanghai Health Commission.

The month-long “preventive disinfection” work will be carried out at 10 types of key local sites, including office buildings, construction sites, public spaces, transport, wet markets, shopping malls, communities, campuses and retirement homes.

“Environmental sanitation and disinfection is one of the most effective measures to curb the spread of COVID-19,” said Wu Huanyu, deputy director of the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, during from the city’s daily press briefing on COVID-19. “A scientific, accurate and effective sterilization campaign can kill viruses that already have or could exist in the environment.”

Quarantine wards and accommodations for COVID-19 patients, for example, will receive continuous disinfection, while hospitals, airports and bus stations will have more frequent disinfection of the surface of items.

Wu noted that door handles and elevator buttons need to be cleaned and disinfected more strictly as they are frequently touched by people.

No mass disinfection of the outdoors or the air will be carried out, and disinfectant will not be sprayed directly on people or in ponds, reservoirs and lakes. No chemical disinfectants can be used in indoor areas when people are inside, Wu said.

Shanghai launches environmental disinfection campaign to fight COVID-19

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Residents of the city’s soft lockdown areas are receiving the second round of PCR tests.

Jin Chen, deputy director of Shanghai’s Housing and Urban-Rural Development Commission, said the 10 key sites with “systematic and general” disinfection are the most frequently visited areas.

They are:

  1. Office buildings (including commercial facilities, offices and parks)
  2. Construction sites (including workers’ dormitories, canteens and toilets)
  3. Public spaces (including parks, greenbelts, public restrooms and “street furniture” such as benches, railings, pavilions and stalls)
  4. Transport tools (including transport hubs, stations, subways, buses, taxis, trains and planes)
  5. Wet markets
  6. Large shopping centers
  7. Communities (including neighborhoods and rental homes)
  8. Schools (including kindergartens, primary, secondary and secondary schools as well as universities and training institutes)
  9. Retirement homes
  10. Families
Shanghai launches environmental disinfection campaign to fight COVID-19

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Volunteers organize online orders for residents in confinement.

Jin said detailed stipulations and disinfection standards have been issued by the center, and online training will be released to both disinfection workers and citizens.

Stair railings, door handles and entry intercoms in local residential communities, for example, will be cleaned with disinfectant wipes or spray mist three times a day. Trash cans will be cleaned and disinfected once a day.

The principle of the disinfection campaign is to avoid influencing people’s daily lives, especially in public transport, shopping complexes and office buildings, he said.

Citizens should avoid over-disinfecting their homes but should ventilate at least twice a day for 30 minutes each time, Jin said.

Shanghai launches environmental disinfection campaign to fight COVID-19

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Stacks of vegetable packets for quarantined residents in Fengxian District

The city reported 326 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 5,656 asymptomatic local infections on Tuesday, said Wu Qianyu, a health commission official.

Of all local infections, 18 confirmed patients previously had asymptomatic infections. Seventeen confirmed patients and 5,131 asymptomatic cases were detected during the central quarantine, while the rest were found during screenings of high-risk people.

Two additional areas in Shanghai, 920 Tingyue Road in Huinan City, Pudong New Area and a construction site dormitory at Jianchuan Road Comprehensive Service Center in Minhang District, were downgraded to low risk, reducing the number of medium risk areas in the city to 13.

A total of 9.1 million citizens in Pudong, Punan and adjacent areas on the east and south banks of the Huangpu River, which are under the city’s phased lockdown, received the first round of nucleic acid tests.

The second round of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests will be carried out on Wednesday for citizens living in the region under lockdown, which will be lifted on Friday morning.

In Puxi, some 10.87 million citizens received the antigen self-test, ahead of a lockdown of that region from Friday.

Shanghai launches environmental disinfection campaign to fight COVID-19

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Garbage handling personnel handle household trash for quarantined communities.

A number of abnormal results were detected during the massive screening process, which is key to curbing the spread of the pandemic as quickly as possible, Wu said.

Citizens were told to take batch PCR tests, keep their distance from others, wear masks and avoid gatherings.

She said other major stadiums and venues are being renovated to become central quarantine sites for the growing number of positive cases reported in Shanghai every day.

These sites have undergone strict assessments, such as their distance from communities, treatment of medical waste and sewage as well as disinfection, to avoid impacting the nearby environment, a she added.

Shanghai has built three garbage treatment facilities for the disposal of medical waste. They can handle 392 tons of medical waste every day, according to the city’s office of ecology and environment.

The Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, the main designated hospital for COVID-19 patients, has its own garbage treatment facility.

On Tuesday, the city processed 544 tons of medical waste, including 10% from designated local hospitals, fever clinics and central quarantine sites, and 48% household waste from quarantine sites.

Garbage from the central quarantine site must be double-wrapped and sealed before disposal in designated bins. They will be transported by specialized personnel, vehicles and routes and incinerated daily, said Ren Juping, an official with the ecology and environment bureau.

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