Efforts to search for survivors should continue in quake zones, but more efforts should focus on resettlement and post-quake reconstruction, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee agreed at a meeting on Monday.
The meeting, presided over by CPC Central Committee General Secretary Hu Jintao, said the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that ravaged southwestern Sichuan Province on May 12 was the "most powerful" tremor with the "most widespread impact" and the most difficult for disaster relief since the New China was founded in 1949.
The committee hailed nationwide and international efforts in quake relief work for the past two weeks, but stressed that quake relief was still at a crucial point, and that government would stick to its "people-first" policy.
Search and rescue operations for the survivors should continue, but more importance should be attached to the resettlement of quake-affected people, restoration of production and reconstruction.
The committee called for more experienced medical staff to be sent to the quake zones to tend to the injured, along with sufficient medical supplies, tents and makeshift accommodation, which are urgently needed in the quake zones.
Local authorities should mount all-out efforts to prevent disease outbreaks in all affected villages, and guard against quake-induced disasters, aftershocks and flooding.
Transportation, telecommunications and power and water supplies in the quake zones must resume as soon as possible, the committee said, while livelihoods should be secured for orphans, the widowed elderly with no children and the handicapped who lost relatives.
Schools in the quake zones should resume classes if conditions allowed, and psychological treatment should be offered when needed.
It ordered government officials to "stand on the front line of disaster relief work", and to publish timely progress reports in rescue missions and disaster relief work.
The committee urged the restoration of production should be planned, and the whole country must mobilize to help with reconstruction.
"The country should maintain economic development and social stability while engaging in quake relief work. Preparation for the Olympics and the Paralympics must be carried out at the same time," the committee agreed.
(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2008)