Communist Party officials in charge of a Shanghai district were forced to issue a public apology on Saturday after “disinfection” tablets they recently planted throughout the district emitted toxic fumes which caused several locals to become ill, China’s state-run Global Times reported on Sunday.
“The anti-epidemic office of Beicai town in [Shanghai’s] Pudong New Area explained that the scattered disinfection tablets were meant to disinfect the roads and sewer lines in the community being diluted by the rain [sic],” the newspaper reported on May 15.
“But the [recent] rainfall was too little and didn’t dissolve them. The smell of the disinfectant spread and affected the residents, showing a lack of thorough consideration and professional infection methods by the anti-epidemic office,” local representatives of China’s ruling Communist Party admitted in a statement issued on May 14.
In addition to placing disinfection tablets along roads and sewer lines, in recent days Shanghai sanitation workers also sprayed an unidentified liquid disinfectant solution “directly” onto residents of Pudong New Area district. They further sprayed the same solution into “the open air” of the district and onto residential community surfaces such as “walls, roads and lawns.” Government workers additionally poured “large amounts of disinfectant or disinfection pills into drains,” according to the Communist Party-run Shanghai Patriotic Health Campaign Committee.
The hazardous measures caused residents of the affected district to develop sore throats and headaches and to generally feel “sick,” according to the Global Times.
The Chinese Communist Party ordered the mass “disinfection” of Shanghai’s Pudong New Area district in an effort to combat the transmission of the Chinese coronavirus. All of Shanghai’s residential districts, home to 25 million-plus inhabitants, have been under strict stay-at-home orders since April 5 as part of a campaign to curb the city’s latest epidemic of the disease. Shanghai’s total lockdown stretched into its 41st consecutive day on May 16, the same day that the financial hub’s government said it would begin to ease movement restrictions in the metropolis ahead of an alleged lifting of the lockdown starting on June 1.
“Shanghai is set to restart business and services activities in phases from Monday [May 16], with shopping centers, supermarkets, pharmacies, wet markets, catering and hairdressing services to resume offline operations in an orderly manner,” the Global Times reported on May 15.
“The resumption of commerce and business activities will progress in phases on the principle of orderly openness, limited flow, effective control and classified management,” according to the newspaper, which is directly managed by the Chinese Communist Party.