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China's air, water quality unaffected by epidemic: ministry

Updated: Feb 23,2020 10:27 AM    Xinhua

BEIJING — The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has not contaminated China's environment as the quality of urban air, surface water and drinking water sources are all kept stable, monitoring results from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) showed on Feb 22.

Between Feb 1 and Feb 19, Chinese environmental authorities have monitored the country's more than 6,900 drinking water sources and did not find any impact from the epidemic on the quality of the sources, the ministry said.

The quality of drinking water sources in Hubei province, where the epidemic first broke out with the largest number of infections, have all been up to standards, the MEE said.

In the same period, the share of good air quality days in China's 337 cities monitored by the ministry, stood at 87.1 percent, up 9.3 percentage points year-on-year, MEE data showed.

Meanwhile, the proportion of surface water with a national quality rating of Grade III or above was 87.3 percent. The rate was stable from the level in the same period last year, indicating relatively good quality.

Local authorities have also monitored the quality of wastewater from designated hospitals and urban sewage treatment facilities in key regions, including 63 designated hospitals in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei and the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Effluent quality at all the designated hospitals and sewage treatment facilities have all been disinfected in accordance with official requirements, the ministry said.

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