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Public Health Safety Ensured During Olympics

China's Minister of Health Chen Zhu said on Monday the government will ensure public health safety during the Beijing Olympic Games by strengthening disease monitoring, emergency response and medical treatment.

"The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games provides a great opportunity for the country's public health development. Beijing will join hands with co-host cities and its neighboring provinces to strengthen disease-related information monitoring and make risk evaluations on the possible public health accidents."

He said rehearsals would be held and exercises in public health accidents would be improved. This was to prevent, reduce and eliminate risks in the public health sphere during the August Games to the maximum.

Liu Zejun, director of Beijing Municipal Disease Prevention and Control Center, said special attention would be paid to the following aspects when making public health risk evaluations: epidemic disease spread, group incidence of a certain disease, food-inflicted disease, vector organism and its control, hotel disinfection, drinking water safety, environment safety and heat stroke.

"Great efforts will be made in preventing rabies, bird flu, SARS and group poisonings," Chen stressed.

Since the 2003 SARS outbreak, China has gradually improved its national disease prevention and control system. From 2002 to now, about 10.5 billion yuan (US$76.3 million) had been spent on infrastructure construction of disease prevention and control centers nationwide.

(Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2008)

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