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Sizzling weather takes its toll

By Zhou Wenting (China Daily)

08:56, July 04, 2012

The spray cooling system at a bus station gives relief to passengers who braved hot temperatures in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, on Monday. Heat waves in eastern and southern parts of China are expected to continue. (Wu Huang / for China Daily)

Ice cream, cool drinks and treatment for colds were all in hot demand as the sizzling weather continued in eastern and southern parts of China on Tuesday.

East China's Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces saw scorching temperatures of up to 38 C. The heat wave also continued in Shanghai on Tuesday, where the temperature hovered around 36 C after three days of rising temperatures.

The persistent heat since the weekend has caused a sudden increase in people seeking medical treatment, mainly for severe colds, hospitals said.

Ruijin Hospital, which is affiliated with the School of Medicine of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, reported a 20 percent increase in the number of patients receiving medicines intravenously, largely owing to the numbers of people with severe colds, in the past few days.

Nurses from Shuguang Hospital in Shanghai's Huangpu district said they saw a similar trend.

Li Jianyun, an office worker, came to Shuguang Hospital to get an injection during her lunch break. She attributed her illness to the wide difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures.

Few people welcome the sweltering weather, but for beverage and ice cream sellers it's a golden opportunity.

"Beverages and ice cream sales tripled in the past few days," said Li Bo, owner of a grocery store in the municipality's bustling Xujiahui shopping area. Mineral water and other beverages were sold out in the vending machines in Xujiahui subway station on Tuesday afternoon.

Temperatures will remain higher than 35 C for another week, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, and are expected to peak at 38 C on Wednesday and Thursday.

In Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, where temperatures climbed above 35 C for the past five days, a spray cooling system was put in use on Monday at a bus station on Lingyin Road to help waiting commuters cool off.

The pure water spray is more than 5 degrees cooler than the air, according to the Hangzhou Public Transport Group, which developed the system.

Forecasters at the National Meteorological Center said the heat wave will linger in eastern and southern parts of China for a few more days.

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