Shanghai's heaviest snowfall in 24 years has led to a sharp rise in injuries, the local public health authority said yesterday.
Hospitals in Shanghai have reported 2,982 injuries over the past few days resulting from the slippery conditions.
"Days of rain and snow have put tremendous pressure on people," Song Guofan, an official with Shanghai public health bureau, said.
"The number of fractures and trauma patients is rising fast," he said.
On Monday alone, the number of fracture cases hit a record with close to 1,000 people needing medical attention for broken bones.
Hospitals have reported receiving two to three times the usual number of people for the time of year.
The city has also seen emergency operations surge with the onset of the inclement weather.
Guo Yongqin, director of the Shanghai medical emergency center, said last week the center sent out ambulances about 700 times a day.
On Monday, the number of dispatches soared to an unprecedented 793.
"The medical emergency center has increased the number of its ambulances by 10 percent. We want to meet the demand of medical emergencies during these times," Guo said.
The authorities have warned people to take extra care when walking in streets, following the Shanghai meteorological bureau's upgrade of its icy roads alert to the second-highest level on Monday.
"I have never seen such heavy snow. I walked very carefully on the street but still almost fell down this morning when going to work," Chen Yan, a 25-year-old worker at a multinational company, said.
"The streets are very slippery. I have asked my parents not to go out to avoid slipping and falling," Chen said.
(China Daily January 30, 2008)