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China Strengthens Epidemic Prevention in Quake-hit Areas

Vice Minister of Health Gao Qiang said on Sunday that medical workers should be sent to every township and village in the quake zone to strengthen epidemic prevention.

"The priority will still be the rescue and treatment of injured people to reduce deaths and disabilities. Some patients should be transferred to other large cities to receive better treatment," Gao told a meeting of the disaster relief headquarters in Chengdu.

"Meanwhile, epidemic prevention should be strengthened, especially in the badly-hit areas," he said, adding that the Ministry of Health and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention have sent experts to those areas to inspect and co-ordinate epidemic prevention.

He stressed that medical workers should be sent to every township and village to carry out projects including vaccination, disinfection and epidemic monitoring. They should give special attention to providing clean water and food, as well as offering health care knowledge to local residents.

It was also decided at the meeting that civilian and military medical experts should work together to prevent disease outbreaks and local governments and Communist Party organizations should also mobilize people to participate in epidemic prevention.

The death toll from the May 12 quake in southwest China's Sichuan Province stood at 62,664, with 358,816 injured and 23,775 missing, as of 12:00 AM on Sunday, according to the State Council Information Office.

(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2008)

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