Premier Li in plea to quake rescuers

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Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday urged rescuers to spare no efforts to continue searching for victims trapped in the debris in quake-hit areas in Sichuan.

At an executive meeting of the State Council, China's cabinet, Li proposed a moment of silence to mourn the victims of the Lushan earthquake and people who lost their lives in disaster relief operations.

"Although the first 72 hours, the peak time for saving lives, has passed, we should not give up searching for trapped victims. We should check every spot," he said.

Sufficient medical workers and supplies — including blood plasma and medicines — should be arranged to ensure that injured people receive timely treatment, he said.

Other supplies such as tents, blankets, clothes and makeshift shelters, which are in urgent need, should be quickly in place, he said, adding that the subsidy budgeted by the central government should be granted to affected people who have no place to live or who have no income source, and people without the ability to cope with the disaster.

"We should ensure that affected people have access to safe living places, food and clean water," said Li, "We should also highlight health and epidemic prevention as an important task of relief work."

Li also called for enough disinfectant materials and medicines to be supplied and for key areas to be disinfected to make sure that there are no disease epidemics following the quake.

Strengthened weather-monitoring, early-warning and emergency-response systems should also be implemented to cope with secondary disasters, such as landslides, to prevent new casualties, the executive meeting was told.

Infrastructure including power, telecommunications and water should also be restored as soon as possible.

Medical institutions and schools should return to normal operations as soon as possible, and production and life should be brought back to normal in the disaster-affected areas.

Loss-evaluation assessments of the disaster and a reconstruction plan should also be conducted in a timely manner, the meeting was told.

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