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Emergency Plans Issued for Accidents
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The State Council, or the Chinese Cabinet, has published emergency plans for four different types of public health incidents in a determined effort to cut the impact of these events to the minimum.

The emergency plans cover public health incidents, medical treatment and first aid administered at accidents, another is for major animal epidemics and one relates to food safety.

According to a State Council document the plans provide guidelines for the handling of sudden major infectious diseases, unidentified diseases affecting groups of people and major incidents of food poisoning.

China will set-up a unified national monitoring and emergency response network for early detection of incidents which might have an affect on the health of the general public. The emergencies will be handled by government departments at different levels depending on how serious they are.

A second emergency plan was issued on medical and health assistance for those involved in or affected by accidents. It's designed to assist reduce the impact on those involved to the minimum.

The plan contains guidelines for the administration of assistance to casualties and those involved in accidents. The health authorities at different levels require to set-up groups who can move rapidly to deliver medical assistance in line with the guidelines.

The third emergency plan is for the handling of major animal epidemics which could cause ill health in humans and result in the loss of stock. According to the plan, the country will set-up a monitoring and reporting network for such outbreaks with vets analyzing the information collected by the network and issuing warning as appropriate.

The Ministry of Agriculture would be responsible for coordinating the handling of any national animal epidemics.

The fourth plan is designed to deal with major food safety incidents. All the major dietetically caused diseases which can appear during planting, breeding, processing, packaging, storing, transportation, circulation and consumption will be under strict supervision.

The government will set-up a national unified monitoring and reporting system and a dedicated nationwide phone number for the reporting of such incidents. If a major food incident did occur the response would come from the national emergency headquarters or by those at province levels,, the report said. .

(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2006)

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