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Macao sends first medical team to Sichuan
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A chartered plane carrying a 20-member medical team and some relief supplies provided by the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China took off on Friday to the quake-stricken Sichuan Province.

The medical team comprises 10 physicians of orthopaedics, internal medicine and intensive care, and 10 nurses, who will assist medical works at a hospital in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, for two weeks, according to the SAR's Health Bureau (SSM).

Dr. Lee Wai Shing, who leads the team, said medical works remain the priority of the current quake relief operations in Sichuan, and hopefully the team and the supplies can help many victims injured in the disaster.

Some 300 local doctors and nurses have volunteered to assist medical works in Sichuan shortly after the disaster hit, according to Chui Sai On, secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the SAR government, who saw the medical team off at the airport.

The relief supplies include a haemodialysis machine and an X-ray machine. The Macao Red Cross will also deliver 1,400 tents to the quake-hit area by land later.

Chui urged local people to join the SAR government's effort to help the quake victims by donating more money and relevant materials.

Combining the figures released by the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Macao SAR and the Macao Red Cross, public donations to the quake-hit areas raised in the city amounted to over 180 million patacas (22.5 million U.S. dollars) so far.

(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2008)

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