Foreign drinkers have a place to dry out
If you are a foreigner in Kunming, Yunnan, but cannot hold your drink, there's help waiting for you at an alcohol detoxification unit.
The unit run by Kunming First People's Hospital was set up especially for foreigners on January 16. The move was initiated after many foreign visitors were found drunk on the streets, Yunnan Daily reports.
Kunming is a hot tourist destination, with the number of foreign visitors last year reaching 50,000. Police handled 19 cases of drunkenness by foreigners during the year.
English-speaking medical workers and policemen in the capital of Yunnan Province will coordinate to offer help and detoxification services to foreigners either voluntarily or out of necessity.
"The service, first of its kind in the country targeting foreigners, will be rendered in collaboration with police," hospital vice-director Liu Yuming said recently. "Police involvement will make the handling of foreign drunkards easier."
The unit has not yet received a patient, Liu said. But with an increasing number of foreigners making a beeline for the city, it won't be long before it gets a few, a police officer in Xishan District Zhao Jian said.
Zhao gave the example of a foreigner found dead drunk on a sidewalk, with all his belongings, including passport and wallet, missing, to explain the problem.
"The detoxification service will help prevent such cases, and assure foreigners have a peaceful stay in Kunming," he said.
After a trial run in Xishan District, which gets lots of foreigners, police plan to extend the service to the entire city, Zhao said.
But not everyone agrees with Kunming's method. Oliver Robinson, night life editor of That's Beijing, said that some foreigners did lose count of their drinks in China.
But "it's okay to just send them home, and the service, a nice idea, though, is not necessary".
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