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Expo leaders say H1N1 won't hurt attendance

2009. 13 November

( The spread of H1N1 flu will have little impact upon next year's World Expo in Shanghai, according to organizers of the event.

    "From the present experience, we see that the flu can be prevented and placed under control despite its rampant spread around the world. So we don't think the flu is a major issue here," Zhou Hanmin, deputy director of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai Executive Committee, was quoted by Friday's China Daily as saying.

    "As the organizers, we'll come up with all necessary countermeasures to ensure health and security for next year's big event. In fact, health is always a big concern in our planning, even without the threat of the H1N1 flu," he said, without elaborating on the potential measures involved.

    So far there is no plan to place restrictions on the number of visitors to the Expo, he said.

    Vicente Loscertales, secretary general of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions, also said he did not see any potential impact from the infectious disease upon the Expo.

    "I don't think there would be any impact. Shanghai is very safe and we'll say to the outside world there is no risk in coming," he said.

    "It is far too important an event to miss. The interest to experience the Expo will be so strong that personally I don't think it will hinder people from coming," said Annika Rembe, Commissioner General of the Swedish Committee for Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

    Organizers also said construction for the six-month event has been going smoothly, with all pavilions and infrastructure in the 5.28-sq-km Expo site to be completed by March.