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Public urged to donate blood for quake victims
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The Ministry of Health has urged the public to donate blood to help victims of the quake that rocked the southwestern province of Sichuan on Monday.

Ministry spokesman Mao Quan on Tuesday said, "There is a large demand for blood in quake-hit areas and we hope the public actively donate blood. Feedback from the quake-stricken areas shows blood and plasma products are urgently needed."

He said, "The ministry has transferred blood from Beijing, Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong to Sichuan."

But shortages could "occur in areas that the blood and plasma has been transferred from, so we hope the public can actively donate," he said.

He also reminded blood collecting centers to maintain sanitation and safety while collecting blood for emergency purposes.

As of Tuesday morning, the ministry had organized a emergency response medical team of 1,000 members and will depart for the disaster-hit areas in line with their needs.

The 7.8-magnitude quake killed at least 9,219 people in eight affected provinces and municipalities including Sichuan, Gansu, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Yunnan, Shanxi, Guizhou and Hubei, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a release issued at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2008)

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