BEIJING, March 2 -- China's Vice Health
Minister Chen Xiaohong said work to compensate children who suffered after
drinking melamine-tainted milk powder has concluded.
But when pressed by a Xinhua reporter to explain that statement, the Health Ministry refused to give detailed
information about how many families were paid or how much they received.
On Jan. 14, the first family of the six children who
died because of poisonous baby formula received 200,000 yuan or 29,000 U.S.
dollars in compensation.
According to the Health Ministry, close to 300,000
children became sick from melamine.
Twenty-two dairy firms contributed 900 million yuan
towards a compensation fund.
Those with serious illnesses will get 30,000 yuan
each and others 2,000 yuan.
A fund has also been set up to cover those children's
future medical expenses.
Xinhua News Agency correspondents reporting from