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May 9, 2010

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Health service boosted

TWO temporary medical clinics have been set up at the major entrance to Expo's Puxi section and similar clinics will be opened soon on the Pudong site, Shanghai Health Bureau officials said yesterday.

The clinics will treat Expo visitors who suffer from heatstroke conditions as the days get hotter.

Ambulance stations serving the Expo zone also have been moved nearer to the entrances to offer more efficient patient transportation, officials said.

Five medical stations inside the Expo zone have been operating from 8am to midnight since the opening. They had treated 2,198 patients, including 526 with injuries and 70 with heatstroke, up to Friday.

"No one had serious heatstroke and many recovered quickly after treatment and rest," said Li Weiping, vice director of the Shanghai Health Bureau.

Ambulances inside the Expo zone carried 291 people during the period. Among the patients, 267 were taken to medical stations inside the zone and 128 were transferred to designated hospitals for further observation and treatment.

Most cases occurred in the more heavily attended Pudong section and the majority sustained minor injuries such as scratches and bruises.

While a few suffered fractures as a result of falls, chronic conditions such as cholecystitis and appendicitis were diagnosed. Others had headaches, nausea and heart problems due to fatigue but none were serious.

"To better serve visitors in the huge crowds and rising temperatures, we have added two more ambulances inside the Expo zone and reallocated more to first aid centers close to Expo," Li said.

"The setup of temporary clinics is in consideration of people caught in long queues and hot temperatures in the coming months."

"Shanghai hasn't detected any suspicious diseases like SARS or bird flu and there's been no big health problems or imported infectious diseases since Expo opened on May 1," Li said.

To help expatriate visitors, the Shanghai Health Bureau has issued a multi-lingual health guidebook containing local hospital information. It has been distributed free to hotels and transport hubs and is available at the Expo site.


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