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Beijing to Report Daily Epidemic Occurrences during 2008 Olympiad

A Beijing public health official said Tuesday that Beijing will report any epidemic occurrences on a daily basis during the Beijing 2008 Olympic games.

Beijing will establish an integrated and efficient network of emergency medicine to provide a public health network that meets international standards, according to Gao Xing, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, during an ongoing international forum on modern emergency medicine that ended Tuesday in Guilin, south China's tourism city in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Gao said Beijing's scorching and humid August climate can provoke acute syndromes, so public health authorities will report daily occurrences of epidemics during the Beijing Olympiad to be held in August 2008, and will also standardize Beijing's hospitals. "Beijing's first aid centers should organize various social initiatives to combat emergent public heath incidents," said Gao.

It is estimated that the 2008 Olympiad will bring to Beijing more than 25,000 athletes, referees, observers and inspectors, 12,000 members of International Olympic Committee, royal families and government officials, 50,000 reporters, 100,000 volunteers and two million tourists from all over the world, the largest number of people in Olympic history.

"However, Beijing has not built an internationally-standardized first aid network," Gao said. Beijing has been urged to build such a network operated like migrant hospitals.

Gao said that the Beijing municipal government has invested 13 million yuan (about US$1.6 million) to build a first aid high-tech project and will seek to arouse the public to join the first aid network.

The number of first aid centers in Beijing has increased from 40 to over 140, many of which have entered communities to tell people what to do when emergencies or epidemics occur.

Gao said the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 29th Olympic Games has signed cooperation contracts with 22 medical institutions, including contracts with the Beijing First Aid Center. Doctors have to pass exams in order to work for the Olympics.

He said Beijing would take the opportunity of holding the Olympics to improve Beijing's public health system and its ability to cope with epidemics.

More than 400 emergency medicine experts gathered at China's third international forum on modern emergency medicine which opened here last Friday to discuss the globalization of emergency medicine.

(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2005)

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