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Headquarters: Relief Work to Shift to Reconstruction

Earthquake relief work has entered a "new stage", with more efforts to be focused on resettlement and post-quake reconstruction in damaged areas. The earthquake relief headquarters under the State Council made the decision at a meeting on Tuesday, presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated the importance of the "people-first" policy. He said the main tasks in the next phase of the relief operation include treating the injured, resettling survivors, preventing epidemics, restoring production, rebuilding damaged infrastructure, and keeping social stability in disaster-hit areas.

It was agreed that efforts to search for survivors should continue, but more importance should be attached to resettlement, the restoration of production and reconstruction.

The meeting has called for more epidemic experts to be sent to all villages in the quake zones for disease prevention. It says inoculation for people vulnerable to infectious diseases should be carried out as soon as possible.

The meeting says local authorities must properly handle the aftermath of those killed and care for those affected by the quake, urging sufficient supplies of makeshift accommodation, especially for people in remote mountainous areas. The production of 900 thousand tents and one million makeshift houses has already been assigned to specific provinces and enterprises. The meeting also called for the production 500 thousand more makeshift houses.

It urges quake relief forces to address the threat posed by the swelling earthquake-induced Tangjiashan Lake to downstream regions, citing it as one of the "most pressing jobs at hand".

The meeting says social order should be maintained in the quake zones, with the restoration of production and post-quake reconstruction to be planned in the meantime.

(CCTV May 28, 2008)

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