The A(H1N1) flu pandemic is expected to infect tens of millions of people in China in the coming autumn/winter season, according to a health ministry official.
Several millions will seek medical help and severe cases, or even fatalities, will be unavoidable, said Liang Wannian, deputy director of the ministry's emergency office at the ministry's regular press conference Friday.
China is facing a steep challenge in curbing rapidly rising H1N1 infections, which so far have sickened 7,000 people in the nation, he said.
Health institutions and workers nationwide are urged to prepare for treating patients in large numbers. When necessary, places like hotels and schools will be used to receive patients, Liang added.
Authorities are also busy stockpiling anti-flu drugs like Tamiflu and traditional Chinese medicines which are proven to be promising in preventing and treating the infection, he said.
"So far we've prepared enough Tamiflu for 10 million people," Liang said.