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Beijing prepares emergency medicine supply for Olympics
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Beijing has invested 29 million yuan (US$4.1 million) in an emergency reserve of drugs and medical equipment for the Olympic Games, a leading pharmaceutical executive said on Monday.

Chen Jisheng, chairman of Beijing Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., the sole drug and medical equipment distributor and retailer for the Olympics, said the stockpile would be kept for public health emergencies.

"The medicine we kept is mainly of common use, such as antibiotics and antidotes," Chen said.

The amount was "enough for a moderate public incident", but she would not provide the specific amount of the drugs.

"It's difficult to estimate how much will be needed in a sudden emergency," she said.

At the company's storehouse, cordons had been put around shelves with packages of protective clothing, masks and glucose and sodium chloride solution, reminding staff those products were not for commercial distribution.

The special store was prepared at the beginning of the year, said Chen.

Emergency plans have been made to ensure the purchase and supply of medicines if the whole city ran out of supplies.

Chen said her company had reached agreements with firms in Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou to transfer supplies to Beijing if needed.

"We have prepared three times the amount of medicines needed by 10,800 people in a month, which was estimated according to on the experience of previous Games," said Dai Jianping, head of anti-doping, pharmaceuticals and public health at the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG).

Meanwhile, each batch and variety of medicine went through strict safety checks and had detailed records that could be traced back in case of quality problems, said Chen.

Beijing has set up 200 medical stations covering all the Olympic venues, while more than 190 ambulances will be on standby. In addition, 22 hospitals have been designated to serve athletes, volunteers and Games staff.

(Xinhua News Agency July 1, 2008)

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