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Second hotline for parents over milk scare
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China's Health Ministry announced on Friday it had opened a second national hotline for panicked parents to have medical consultation in the wake of the ongoing tainted baby milk formula scandal.

The public health service number -- 021-12320 -- in Shanghai is manned by experts who provide advice on how to appropriately treat babies stricken by the tainted baby milk powder.

The hotline follows the first round-the-clock service opened in Beijing on Wednesday. It was providing people with information on treatment and had partially met the demands of parents, a ministry source said, without elaborating on how many had used the service.

Six provinces had also opened regional hotlines, including Hebei, Qinghai, Jiangsu, Shandong, Jilin and Fujian.

On Friday, the ministry asked the rest of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities to organize experts and set up hotlines for local residents.

More than 6,200 infants developed kidney stones after drinking a baby formula tainted with melamine. The chemical, which was added illegally,makes the protein content of milk appear higher than it actually is.

The formula has so far killed four infants.

Dairy giant Sanlu based in the northern Hebei provincial capital of Shijiazhuang was the first company exposed in the scandal.

(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2008)

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