China’s health authorities announced Sunday that more than 50,000 people, most of them infants, have been sickened by milk and milk products tainted with the mild toxin melamine. Officials said 39,965 victims had been treated at hospital and released after recovering, while another 12,892 babies remain in hospital.
China said nearly 13,000 children were in hospital Sunday after drinking toxic milk powder in a dramatic escalation of Beijing’s latest safety scandal.
As the World Health Organization questioned Beijing’s handling of the crisis, premier Wen Jiabao appeared on state television promising to head off further incidents.
But a Hong Kong toddler also became the first child affected outside the mainland and more countries moved to bar Chinese milk products.
The health ministry said 12,892 infants were in hospital with 104 babies in serious condition, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Read also: Milk scandal tests China to limits in post-Olympic era on the Sunday Herald.
Flying Postman, falling leaves and fizzing fireworks brought a colourful climax to 40 days of Olympic and Paralympic triumph in Beijing last week. But no sooner had Boris Johnson exited the Bird’s Nest stadium than the ruling Communist Party was rocked by an explosive scandal with far-reaching implications for post-Olympic China.
“On one side the Olympics, dancing and singing! On the other side, infants poisoned by no-quality food products! Is this the One World, One Dream’ goal?” wrote an anonymous Chinese blogger on net portal NetEase.
“The victims are innocent children. Who will take responsibility for their losses? Who will make up for their future? Who will save the integrity of food safety?”
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