A team of Chinese medics is leaving Thursday evening for Phuket in Thailand to join the relief work of the Thai tropical resort island, which was severely hit by the deadly southeast Asian earthquake and tsunami, China's Ministry of Health announced in Beijing Thursday.
The team comprises 15 medics from Shanghai, including seven public health professionals, six trauma experts, a team leader and an interpreter, the ministry said.
"Another medics team from south China's Guangdong Province will be leaving for Phuket island Friday," a press officer of the Health Ministry said. "The second team has 12 members."
The catastrophic quake, measuring at 8.7 on the Richter Scale, was registered Sunday, west off the island of Sumatra. It triggered deadly tsunamis in south and southeast Asia, which killed at least 80,000 people in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand and Malaysia.
The Ministry of Health said ten Chinese medical teams with 100 health professionals are now ready for help to the tsunami-hit nations.
The press officer said those teams mainly include professionals on public health and trauma treatment.
"They can rush to the disaster-struck countries immediately as long as we receive requests from these countries," he said.
Meanwhile, the ministry noted that China's Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) had also set up a medical assistance team, including ten experts on infectious disease control and treatment, disinfection as well as food and water sanitation.
The Chinese government has promised to offer 21.63 million yuan (US$ 2.62 million) in aid for the tsunami-hit countries. On Thursday it announced it would increase the assistance significantly due to the seriousness of the disaster.
(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2004)