By Paul Chung
Image credits: @noevent.
China is finally beginning to take a hard line on pervasive public toilet hygiene concerns. It’s going to require a bit of counting, however.
According to public health regulations drafted by the Ministry of Health, only three flies will be allowed per square meter stand-alone public toilets. In addition, only only one fly per square meter will be permissible for public toilets within other facilities.
The guidelines also propose a 4-tiered grading system for public toilets based on odor intensity: no odors, slight odors, apparent odors, and strong odors. Toilets will no longer be permitted to have odors above “slight odors.” Furthermore, the draft specifies that toilets used by an equal number of men and women should have twice as many stalls for women.
Previously negligent in its oversight of public toilets, the government plans to actively control and monitor the hygienic state of public toilets across the nation, as opposed to making a passive one-time recommendation.
Netizens have ridiculed and poked fun at the new guidelines, which would create a cohort of “fly counters” and “odor appraisers” at public toilets across the country.
Three flies are better than five flies, after all. We’re just a little perplexed by some of Beijing’s recent propositions.