Health institute urges smoke break
A health institute in China has urged smokers to stop smoking from 5:31pm to 6:31pm today.
The Institute for Health Education of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the 350 million smokers in China could save 700 million cigarettes and reduce 360 million grams of carbon dioxide emission.
Special clinics have been set up in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to give smokers a chance to stop. One clinic in Shanghai's Ruijin Hospital has admitted a group of chain smokers who want to give up. The doctor in charge of the clinic, Lu Ankang said that just one hour of not smoking could improve your health by slowing the heart beat and reducing carbon monoxide in the blood, - which might "prolong their lives by 11 minutes".
In China, about 540 million people suffered from passive smoking and 180 million of these were children aged under 15. About 1 million people die every year because of illnesses related to smoking. "It is never too later to give up smoking", Lu added.
Shanghai will have eight more smoke-free hospitals, making 18 in all. In these hospitals, smokers who want to give up can attend clinics and doctors will not smoke. --(5/31)
14 World Expo projects at full speed
Fourteen Shanghai World Expo construction projects are now underway throughout Minhang District. The constructions with a budget of more than 250 billion yuan (US$36.6 billion) will reshape the district's future.
They include high-speed railways, expressways, elevated roads, bridges over the Huangpu River, logistics centers and the Hongqiao Transit Hub.
A lot of roads and highways are currently under construction to supplement the transit hub, which combines bus stations, train stations, an airport and Metro stations.
The Jiamin Highway from Wusong Port and linking to the Huqingping Road will be turned into a 10-lane highway and its lower section will become a two-way eight-lane road.
The Beizhai Road is going to become a two-way six-lane highway and Caobao Road will be expanded into eight lanes, with six fast lanes.
The A8 Expressway expansion project started on May 17; an elevated road will be set up to link the A9 Expressway and Qixin and Beizhai roads; the construction of A15 Expressway, Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, the Minpu Bridge and Minpu Bridge II have entered critical phases.
To make way for the Expo, in Minhang more than 2,000 companies and factories and about 50,000 people have been relocated. --(5/30)
Charity wins in a day at the races
Jockeys slog through the sand at a charity horse race yesterday at a resort in Pinghu, Zhejiang Province, that raised more than 1 million yuan (US$142,857).
A CHARITY horse carnival raised more than 1 million yuan (US$142,857) for needy patients suffering from congenital heart disease and for children with cerebral palsy, treating visitors to a day of races, polo matches and dressage displays.
But while organizers were satisfied with the amount of cash they collected, many visitors were scratching their heads over what they had witnessed, and some were frustrated over faltering food and transportation services.
The Shanghai Charity Foundation, one of the event's organizers, admitted there was trouble and said it would use the lessons learned to enhance planning in the future.
Held at the Nine Dragons Polo Club in Pinghu, Zhejiang Province, the carnival also featured non-equine activities such as lucky draws and a women's hat competition.
Nearly 2,000 people bought tickets for 1,680 yuan or 1,980 yuan, which provided better seating and food. All ticket proceeds went to the foundation, officials said.
A spectator who identified himself only as Zhang said though he thought it was important to combine charity with entertainment, he and his family were often perplexed about what was going on during the race.
"They didn't provide a clear explanation about the horse racing, and we didn't even know where the finish line was," Zhang told Shanghai Daily. "It was a bit confusing for us to watch racing for the first time."
The organizers also didn't provide enough seats in the dining area. At noon, after standing in long lines for their meals, many people failed to find a place to sit.
"We waited for more than 20 minutes for a seat, and my boy was starved," Zhang said.
Earlier, nearly 100 spectators had to wait for the event's shuttle bus for more than an hour and a half at People's Square and arrived too late to watch all the events.
Ma Zhongqi, deputy director of the foundation, said officials welcome suggestions from the public.
"We are not experienced in holding such a big event," he said.
"But the event will continue in the future, and we believe it will be better," the official added. --(5/29)
City reports flu suspect
Shanghai health authorities said yesterday that they're treating a new suspected case of swine flu, involving a 26-year-old Chinese woman who flew to the city from the United States over the weekend.
Blood samples from the patient had been sent to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention for testing, city government spokesman Chen Qiwei said yesterday.
If the woman is confirmed to be carrying the H1N1 virus, she would become the city's second case of swine flu.
The woman, who is studying at a university in the United States, landed at Pudong International Airport on American Airlines flight AA289 on Saturday afternoon.
She developed a cough and a temperature of 37.1 degrees Celsius on Monday morning. Her fever rose to 38 degrees early Tuesday, and she tested "weakly positive" for swine flu yesterday.
She was being treated at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Chen said. --(5/28)
Year book published
The Shanghai Economic Almanac 2009 was published yesterday. Mayor Han Zheng is the head of the editorial board.
City agencies, business groups and associations participated in the editorial content. The almanac has pocket versions in English and Chinese.
The almanac reflects the achievements that Shanghai has made in urban administration and construction. It shows a general picture of the city¡¯s progress last year. At the beginning of the almanac, it lists 10 highlights for the city last year such as turning the city into an international transportation hub and financial innovations. --(5/27)
Pudong New Area is offering the chance to win Expo tickets as part of a safe driving campaign. The district government is hoping 50,000 drivers will sign up and not break any traffic rules before next March.
Then they can enter a lucky draw to win 800 Expo tickets. Drivers can sign up at www.sh1057.com. --(5/26)
Rain is forecast for some areas of the city today with the temperature ranging from 18 to 27 degrees Celsius. The rain will continue until tomorrow before the sky clears on Wednesday.
The mercury will hold steady at between 19 and 27 degrees this week. --(5/25)
A three-day fair of produce from Huangshan City in Anhui Province opened yesterday at the Shanghai Agricultural Exhibition Hall. More than 100 companies displayed about 400 kinds of products, including Yellow Mountain tea, nuts and bamboo products. The Shanghai Agricultural Commission also signed an agreement with Huangshan City guaranteeing top-quality agricultural produce for the city. --(5/23)
The Shanghai Science and Technology Commission signed a memorandum of understanding with GE (China) Research and Development Center yesterday.
The agreement includes new technology for solar and wind energy, water processing and biotechnology. --(5/22)
Students on TV
The Second Shanghai University Student Television Festival will open at East China Normal University on June 9. As part of the 15th Shanghai Television Festival (June 8-12), the three-day event will feature a series of programs to showcase the television dreams, talent and creativity of local college students.
Winners will receive awards at the festival's closing ceremony on June 11. --(5/21)
More Hangzhou tourist vouchers
Hangzhou, the capital of neighoring Zhejiang Province, is handing out a second batch of 100 million yuan (US$14.65 million) tourist discount vouchers.
People can apply for the vouchers at Websites including www.gotohz.com, www.elong.com, www.mangocity.com and www.online.sh.cn and they will be given a code with which they can collect a book of vouchers valued at 200 yuan for various attractions in Hangzhou.
A total of 500,000 books of coupons will be distributed. They can be used at 819 restaurants, shops, hotels and sightseeing venues from June through October. The first batch of discount coupons covered 700 outlets.
The Hangzhou tourism authority has made Websites the major distribution channels for these coupons - distribution at local points had caused chaos. --(5/20)
Forum boosts creative industry
City leader Yang Xiaodu yesterday told a creative industry forum in Shanghai said that Shanghai and Taiwan will cooperate more in digital animation and creative industries.
The forum, on creative industry development in Shanghai and Taiwan, revealed that Shanghai has put the creative industry in an eleventh five-year plan and Taiwan has also made the industry one of six major industries to be developed in the future.
Yang said that Shanghai has been developing its creative industry and it is booming. He said that Taiwan has also been developing this industry and the two zones can learn from each other.
The two zones can cooperate in other fields and reach a positive development, he said.
Yang met forum guests from Taiwan. --(5/19)
City Residents in the Yangtze River Delta will have high-speed Internet access by next year, officials said yesterday.
It is expected to cover 1 million people by 2010. The service will be about 100 times faster than what's currently available. --(5/18)
Futures trading rules to be tough
China will introduce strict entry thresholds for investors in the country's first stock index futures to contain risk and prevent speculation, the head of China Financial Futures Exchange said yesterday.
An investor should own cash of at least 500,000 yuan (US$73,000) to qualify to trade index futures, said Zhu Yuchen, chief executive officer of the financial futures exchange, at the Lujiazui Forum.
The so-called "qualified investor" system will also require investors to pass a knowledge test about financial futures and undertake trial trading organized by the bourse for at least five sessions, Zhu said.
"The requirements are set to curb risks and protect the interest of small investors," he said during a forum panel discussion. "We are very serious about the product launch and high thresholds will benefit the market's growth in the initial stage."
China has been preparing for its first stock index futures for about three years. It launched the financial futures exchange in Shanghai in September 2006 but it has yet to trade any product.
The bourse's first index futures will be based on the country's benchmark CSI 300 Index, which tracks the biggest 300 firms listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen by market value. --(5/17)
Vehicles will be banned from driving west to east on part of Longyang Road from Monday because of road works, Pudong New Area police said yesterday.
The section between Dongfang Road to Yanggao Road S. will be closed eastward till September 30. Police advised drivers to use Pujian Road or Sanliqiao Road E. as alternatives. --(5/16)
Dusting off a city problem
Shanghai will launch an intensified drive to deal with the dust created on construction sites to keep markets and public facilities in the city clean.
The headquarters of the city's urban management, Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau and the Shanghai Construction and Transport Commission are cracking down on dust, and have set up supervision networks on major roads and are monitoring the dust in 200 construction sites.
Pest controls are being introduced at markets.
The headquarters of the city's urban management will cooperate with other departments to improve the city's environment every month. --(5/15)
Kite removal delays flights
Shanghai Airport Authority said an unattended kite was removed from the sky near Hongqiao Airport yesterday morning.
A small number of flights were slightly delayed and the airport warned that flying kites near the airport were a safety risk. --(5/14)
Shanghai's Lupu Bridge, an overpass that runs across the Huangpu River to Pudong from downtown Luwan District, received the Outstanding Structural Award of 2008 from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering on Monday.
The association has 4,200 members from more than 100 countries. --(5/13)
Forum for heads of state
Expo 2010 will invite the heads of various nations and the secretary general of the United Nations to a forum on urban innovation and sustainable development in October next year and invite them to sign a declaration on urban development.
The organizer yesterday announced plans for the Expo forums and signed contracts with six Yangtze River Delta cities where forums will be held. --(5/12)
Pudong gives out coupons
The Pudong New Area government will start to distribute a second batch of 20,000 discount coupons tomorrow to attract travelers from the Yangtze River Delta region.
Car owners can go to Yongda Group auto dealerships in nearby Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces to get the coupons for free. --(5/11)
China puts 7 under medical attention
Seven passengers from a flu-infected international flight were placed in quarantine in China yesterday, the Health Ministry said.
Three Japanese passengers boarding the US Northwest Airlines flight NW025, which flew from Canada to Japan via the United States on Friday, had been diagnosed with swine flu, the ministry said.
Of the co-passengers, some had left Japan, including seven who arrived in Shanghai and Beijing on Friday night.
All have been put under medical observation, according to the ministry.
Four, including three Chinese from Henan Province, and an American, are in quarantine in a Shanghai medical facility.
The other three are in quarantine separately in Beijing and Jiangsu and Anhui provinces.
China had earlier quarantined 166 passengers who were on board flight AM098 from Mexico City to Shanghai on April 30 after a Mexican, one of the travelers, was later confirmed in Hong Kong to have swine flu, Asia's first case of the H1N1 influenza.
Among them, 38 Mexican passengers and crew were flown back to Mexico on Monday. The remaining 128 passengers, including a few Mexican nationals, continued their weeklong quarantine across China until Thursday when they were released after showing no flu-like symptoms or had tested negative to the virus.
No confirmed or suspected cases had been reported on the Chinese mainland as of 8am yesterday, the ministry said. --(5/10)
Shanghai hospitals are offering skills and management training to medical professionals from Sichuan to improve health care and hospital efficiency in the earthquake-stricken province.
Shanghai Children's Medical Center has invited four pediatricians from Dujiangyan City in Sichuan for one year of training in Shanghai, starting in July.
Shanghai Shuguang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, which has been designated to support the reconstruction of Dujiangyan Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, has introduced advanced hospital management systems to its counterpart, which was destroyed in the earthquake. --(5/9)
Nanhui real estate boom coming soon
The central government's recent approval to merge Nanhui District into Pudong New Area will create opportunities and spur property development in Nanhui.
Nanhui will enjoy Pudong's preferential policies, such as tax breaks to lure professional talent and streamlined investment procedures.
Pudong, a special economic zone established in 1990, will now double in size to 1,210 square kilometers.
"The huge land resources in Nanhui, located to the south of Pudong's financial zone and covering a total area of 677 square kilometers, will definitely bring a whole lot of opportunities for real estate development," said Li Zhanjun, director of Shanghai Pudong Real Estate Economics Research Center.
"More importantly, Pudong's master-planning expertise will help Nanhui improve its planning and construction and finally enhance its overall strength as part of a larger economic powerhouse."
In particular, Lujiazui, Waigaoqiao, Zhangjiang and Jinqiao - the state-owned groups responsible for developing four major zones in Pudong - will benefit most from the merger as they have been running out of land, Li added.
Demand for properties, meanwhile, may also rise following the merger, industry analysts said.
"Foreseeably, some industries in Pudong might be relocated to the larger Nanhui in the future under an integrated scheme and therefore drive more people southward," said Yang Hongxu, deputy director of E-House (China) R&D Institute.
"Such movement will naturally spur demand for property development in those areas." --(5/8)
Inspectors check for chemical
A team of inspectors from a local sanitation bureau was checking manholes for a toxic chemical after buckets of ethanethiol were found on Tuesday in a grassy area of Zhangjiang High-Tech Park in Pudong New Area.
The persistent smell indicated there may be more than one dump site.
The buckets of ethanethiol were found dumped near the intersection of Libing and Aidisheng roads.
"We scooped out 9 cubic meters of the grassy area this morning," Zhang Peijun, an official with the Pudong Environmental Protection and Public Sanitation Bureau, said yesterday.
The liquid belonged to Shanghai Lengmu Chemical Engineering Co Ltd, which is relocating, police said.
The company said it had commissioned workers from a property management company to handle waste left behind. The property management company hasn't been named.
Police said the case was still under investigation. --(5/7)
New water supply hotline
Shanghai Chengtou Corporation launched a new water supply hotline number yesterday - 962740.
The new number will run in tandem with the old hotline numbers 962626 and 962323 in the transition period. --(5/6)
Garden guide training
A training class has been held to boost the number of guides at Shanghai Botanical Garden.
A guide¡¯s role is to advise visitors to protect the environment and requires a knowledge of botany and ecology.
The first training class involved 20 new guides. --(5/5)
Hotel set to reopen next year
The historic Peace Hotel on the Bund is expected to reopen in March 2010 after being refashioned as the Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai, while retaining its original art deco style, according to Jin Jiang International Hotels Group and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
Renovation of its interior is already under way based on a plan by Hirsch Bedner Associates, a hospitality interior design company.
The new hotel will offer about 250 deluxe rooms and suites. It will also include six restaurants and lounges. Room prices are likely to rise to between US$300 and US$400 per night, from around US$100 before it closed for renovation in April 2007. A presidential suite will be on the 10th floor, where Victor Sassoon, the hotel's creator and former owner, once lived.
The south building of the hotel, due to reopen about the same time, will be converted into a retail center and a hotel exclusively for the use of artists, who will live, work and exhibit their creations at the hotel. --(5/4)
Local flight tied to flu case in HK
Officials in Hong Kong yesterday ordered a week-long quarantine of a hotel after one of its guests - a newly arrived tourist from Mexico - tested positive for swine flu, Asia's first case of the disease. The Mexican man landed in Hong Kong following a stopover in Shanghai.
Hong Kong's flu alert level was immediately raised from "serious" to "emergency," the highest level.
The man was on a Mexicana Airlines AM098 flight from Mexico City that touched down at Pudong International Airport on Thursday morning, China's Ministry of Health said early this morning. At 11:20am, he took a China Eastern flight to Hong Kong.
Technicians from Shanghai's Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau boarded the aircraft and conducted temperature checks on all 176 AM098 passengers before letting them leave the plane and go on to their final destinations in China. No one was running a fever at that time, the ministry said.
From Thursday, authorities in Shanghai, Guangdong and Beijing have put most passengers who boarded the flight under medical observation. The ministry also asked local medical authorities to quarantine all the passengers on the flight for seven days.
The ministry urged local authorities to trace down passengers who had already left Shanghai for other Chinese cities.
Several Mexicans from Thursday's Mexicana Airlines flight were being held at a hotel where other passengers were undergoing health checks in an unrelated case involved a Canadian flight on which three people had fevers, said James Zhang, a Shanghai resident who was on the latter plane (See accompanying story).
The swine flu victim reportedly did not leave Pudong Airport between flights.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang told reporters yesterday that the flu patient is a Mexican citizen who developed a fever after arriving in the city via Shanghai on Thursday. Tsang said tests by both Hong Kong's Department of Health and the University of Hong Kong confirmed that the man was suffering from swine flu, or A/H1N1 influenza as it is officially called.
He said the 25-year-old patient has been isolated in a hospital and is in stable condition.
Twenty-four Taiwan residents flew to Hong Kong with him before traveling on to Taiwan on six separate flights on Thursday, the island's health agency said. The passengers were urged to contact Taiwanese health officials immediately.
The patient, who was traveling with two others, took taxis from Hong Kong's airport to Metropark Hotel and from the hotel to the hospital but did not venture out otherwise, Secretary for Food and Health York Chow said.
But as a precaution the government has ordered a week-long quarantine of the Metropark in the territory's Wan Chai bar and office district and will treat its guests with the drug Tamiflu, Chow said. Police officers wearing masks and gloves guarded the building. There are about 200 guests staying at the hotel and 100 staff working there, Director of Health Lam Ping-yan said.
Chow said officials urged the taxi drivers who drove him to contact health officials. The others who came into contact with the Mexican have been isolated in a hospital. --(5/3)
China Places H1N1 In SARS-type Category
China's government declared swine flu a category II infectious disease, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.
That means any infection must be reported immediately to government authorities and gives local governments the ability to quarantine areas. The same category was given to SARS, which killed nearly 800 people in 2003.
Meanwhile, international health organizations have agreed to use the name H1N1 influenza A and avoid the term swine flu in order to prevent the needless slaughter of pigs. --(5/2)
Customs for Expo
The Shanghai Customs has set up a service center in the World Expo area. The center will offer import and export applications, management of tax reduction and exemptions and monitoring exhibited items.
Officers said a warranty isn't necessary when importers or exporters apply for Customs clearance of goods related to the Expo. So far, 10 batches of Expo-related goods valued at US$4.27 million have been approved to be imported, a Customs officer said in Shanghai. --(5/1)