Cleaning program for 730 farmers markets
The city’s health authority has launched a citywide cleaning and sterilization program at 730 farmers markets in a bid to prevent respiratory infections.
On Wednesday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed wild animals as the source of the current coronavirus virus. The geographical distribution of coronavirus-related pneumonia cases indicated a close relationship between the epidemic and a seafood market in Wuhan, where wild animals are said to be sold.
The Shanghai Patriotic Health Campaign Committee said that as Spring Festival drew near the number of people using the markets was increasing.
On Wednesday, the committee organized its 16 district branches to clean and sterilize areas of nearly 1.8 square meters at 730 farmers markets, especially utility rooms, toilets and garbage bins.
At a farmers market on Chifeng Road in Hongkou District, workers were seen cleaning the floor, placing cockroach killer in the corners of the booths and wiping the booths and walls with disinfectant.
Song Dianshan, head of the market, said it was usually cleaned three times a day — between 7am and 9am, at noon and at 3pm. But with the threat of coronavirus-related pneumonia, they mixed disinfection tablets given by the committee with water and carried out a thorough sterilization of the market.
Song said sales of live poultry had been banned in the market for years and it only sold frozen poultry.
"For the raw meat, we check the quarantine certificates and track the origins under city's unified standards," Song said. Vendors’ health was also being assessed and their temperatures taken every day.
Mo Wending, an official with the district’s commerce commission, said there were 34 farmers market in Hongkou.
“There is no live poultry trading in our district. And the food in these markets all comes from city's major wholesale markets, where good quarantine work is provided,” Mo said.
The processing, production and sales of wild animals is also prohibited in the district.
The committee’s Le Zhichun said the epidemic was closely related to the environment.
“We work with the 700-plus farmers markets on cleaning neglected corners in the market as well as the sanitation facilities, and the prevention and killing of vectors,” Le said. "A clean environment is basic to disease prevention.”
Also on Wednesday, city's commerce commission and commission of agriculture and rural affairs jointly released an announcement on Shanghai's seasonal ban on the trade in live poultry.
It said the city will continue to suspend live poultry trading between January 25 and April 30. Anyone finding such trade should report it to the authorities.