The sick children consumed milk made from milk powder, most of it produced by the Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Sunday, Sep 21. It said 12,892 children have been hospitalised. Authorities continued over the weekend to contain public dismay over widespread milk contamination, punishing local officials for negligence while strengthening inspections of dairy products across the nation, the China Daily reported.
Officials promised to keep stores supplied with clean milk and set up medical hot lines nationwide to handle one of the worst food safety scandals in years.
Investigations found 22 manufacturers were involved in a melamine-tainted formula milk scandal, including leading companies, such as the Bright Dairy and Food, Yili Industrial Group, and Mengniu Group.
The Ministry of Health said on Sunday that 39,965 children had visited hospitals for checks or consultation and 12,892 had undergone treatment.
A total of 104 infants were seriously ill and 1,579 were discharged from hospitals after treatment.
Most of the children under treatment had drunk Sanlu formula milk. Among the children under treatment, 99.2 percent were under age 3.
The ministry said no case related to liquid milk had been reported in the mainland.n Saturday, Premier Wen Jiabao told senior officials that official misconduct contributed to the milk contamination and earlier product scandals.
Recalls of Chinese-made dairy products were extended on Saturday to Japan, which followed Singapore's lead, while more products were recalled in Hong Kong and Macao.
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce initiated a nationwide monitoring of dairy producers and sellers on Saturday, Sep 20.