The opening hours of clinics for free infant health checks would be extended, while the supply of milk powder would at least double to cope with the expected surge in demand during the National Day 'golden week' holiday, the health minister said yesterday. 'We don't have an estimate on the number of Hong Kong children living in the mainland who will come for check-ups,' Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok said after the first meeting of the taskforce on the tainted-milk scandal. '[But] we have asked the Immigration Department to monitor the number of children, and their ages, who are coming to Hong Kong.' The taskforce comprises more than 20 medical, health and food safety experts and government officials. The Hospital Authority's director of quality and safety, Leung Pak-yin, said that from today until October 5, the 18 designated clinics that offer free initial check-ups to children with symptoms after drinking tainted milk products would open from 9am to 5pm on weekends and public holidays instead of 9am to 1pm. 'We hope that with those opening hours, we can see how many people will be coming and adjust our manpower to meet the need,' Dr Leung said. From yesterday, the authority also set up two more assessment centres at Kwong Wah Hospital and North District Hospital to receive referrals from the clinics. The 18 clinics provided initial assessment to 1,805 patients yesterday, while the nine centres attended to 467 patients. The government had contacted the Ministry of Health to arrange a visit to the mainland to exchange clinical views on treating affected children, Dr Chow said.