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Coronavirus Live Updates: Hot Zone Infections Skyrocket

Mist cannons and water sprinkler trucks have been deployed to clean the streets of Wuhan, China, but experts said the effectiveness of such measures may be limited in preventing the spread of the illness.

Since Sunday, workers in Wuhan have been sanitizing public areas twice a day in an effort to disinfect the city. Public toilets as well as garbage disposal sites and transfer stations are sprayed at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to the local government’s official Weibo page, China’s Twitter-like platform. Workers will spray disinfectant onto the main roads, hospitals and around various isolation quarters as well, it added.

Video footage shared by Chinese state media showed parades of trucks and workers in protective suits spraying large, white plumes of mist into the air and onto the streets of Wuhan. The city government said that by Tuesday a total of 21,130 liters of disinfectant and 720 liters of toilet cleaning products had already been used.

“I think it could help to reduce environmental contamination with coronavirus, but we have not yet seen evidence that coronavirus has been spreading through the environment,” said Benjamin Cowling, a professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong.

“Our current understanding is that most transmission occurs via prolonged close contact with infected persons,” he added.

Reporting and research was contributed by Gillian Wong, Chris Buckley, Sui-Lee Wee, Steven Lee Myers, Keith Bradsher, Amber Wang, Zoe Mou, Albee Zhang, Yiwei Wang, Claire Fu, Amy Qin, Elaine, Yu, Tariro Mzezewa and Niraj Chokski.

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