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East Japan city gov't distributes antiseptic solution to residents to fight coronavirus

People receive antiseptic solution at the city hall in Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture, on April 1, 2020. (Mainichi/Taichi Nemoto)

KASHIMA, Ibaraki -- A long line formed at the city hall here on April 1 as the municipal government of this eastern Japan city began distributing antiseptic solution to residents free of charge.

The hypochlorous acid solution is effective against norovirus, influenza and other viruses. People can spray the solution directly onto their hands, or onto cloths to wipe down doorknobs and other surfaces. The local government bought special equipment which produces the solution using water and hydrochloric acid so it can provide a constant supply of the solution.

A 31-year-old woman who came to get some of the sanitizer with her 4-year-old son said, "I searched drugstores in the city for alcohol antiseptic solution but couldn't find even one, so this is very helpful."

As the hypochlorous acid water loses its effectiveness if it's exposed to direct sunlight, the city also gave out newspaper sheets to cover the containers. Seeing a long line to get the sanitizer, a municipal employee said, "I think everyone is very wary of the coronavirus."

People can pick up the solution from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the city office and other municipal facilities.

(Japanese original by Taichi Nemoto, Kashima Local Bureau)

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