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Hospitals feel the heat as the temperatures remain red hot

HOSPITALS are under the cosh as the heatwaves trigger illness and burns.

Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said the city’s major hospitals are reporting a spike in admission numbers, each of them receiving more than 10,000 patients every day since the sweltering temperatures following the end of the plum rain season.

Zhongshan Hospital and Xinhua Hospital report handling nearly 160,000 patients each per day. The number of emergency patients treated at Huashan Hospital is up 15 percent from June, and its renowned dermatological department receives 5,300 people a day.

Ruijin Hospital’s burns department receives 400 emergency patients a day, nearly twice the daily average.

“In summer, people wear less and the direct exposure to scorching sun is intensified,” said Huan Jingning, director of the department.

To cope with the increasing patients, more volunteers are being dispatched to hospitals. Specialists are also being sent to grass-roots health care centers — and one 7-year-old boy with asthma is a beneficiary of that. His father, surnamed Chen, said he has to take his son to receive treatment at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center every month. As they live in Zhuqian Town, it takes a long time to get to the hospital. But now, he and his son can walk to the township health center to see specialists.

Meanwhile, with the heat still showing no sign of relenting, residents are warned to be prepared and take precautions while the mercury stays so high.

The next typhoon that will cool the city isn’t expected for at least 10 days, said Kong Chunyan, the chief forecaster of the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Last Wednesday, the heatwave alert was raised to “level two,” or orange, and this has remained in place for six consecutive days as temperatures soared to 38 degrees Celsius.

Last Friday was the year’s hottest day so far, at 39.7 degrees. That record is likely to be broken this week, as 40 degrees is forecast around Saturday.

On August 7, 2013, the observatory center of Xujiahui recorded a high of 40.8 degrees. But the hottest year on record was 1934.

This year, scenic spots across the city have taken precautions against the blazing summer heat.

Shanghai Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower has newly installed sunshades, and more than 30 big fans and seats in its queuing area.

If the temperature surpasses 35 degrees, ice barrels will be placed in areas where there are long queues. Air purifiers are also set up and drinking water is supplied.

Shanghai Botanical Garden has installed a spray system in its lotus exhibition area, while Guyi Garden, a popular spot for lotus flower appreciation, has volunteer doctors on duty at weekends.

The garden also has a spray system and drinking water available.

A spray system has also been installed under the landmark zigzag Jiuqu Bridge.

Shanghai Happy Valley, an amusement park, has set up sunshade umbrellas and over 50 spray systems and fans across the park. It has a team of professional medical treatment staff, and an infirmary to help tourists suffering from heatstroke.

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