Water Faucets May Have Caused Tokyo Subway Cluster

Water faucets may have caused Tokyo subway cluster

Tokyo Metropolitan Government officials say a cluster infection of the coronavirus among subway drivers may have been caused by shared water faucets.

Beginning in the middle of December, 39 drivers and staff of the Toei Oedo subway line were infected with the coronavirus. The line's operator had to reduce services by around 30 percent for the two weeks through Monday this week.

The Transportation Bureau says the public health center that investigated the incident pointed out that the virus is highly likely to have spread through water faucets in a bathroom used by subway drivers.

The drivers use these faucets to wash their hands, brush their teeth and gargle. Investigators say they may have been contaminated with saliva.

Bureau officials say they will consider switching the faucets to sensor-type models and will take other preventive measures.

They also say they have learned how difficult it is to stem the spread of the virus, and they will do all they can to ensure the smooth operation of subway services.