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Some 1,200 people seek medical help during Argentine ex-president's funeral

10-30-2010 08:53 BJT

BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- A total of 1,200 people needed medical assistance during the funeral of Nestor Kirchner, Argentina's president from 2003 to 2007 who died of heart attack on Wednesday, the Health Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

People fainted, suffered high blood pressure and nervous breakdowns in Plaza de Mayo, the square that faces the Palace of Government, in the center of the capital city Buenos Aires. Nineteen of those who needed some medical help needed treatment at the nearby Argerich, Fernandez and Ramos Mejia hospitals.

The Territorial Health Support Program, and the National Mental Health and Addictions Directorate and the National Health Emergency Directorate all provided emergency help, the statement said. These were supported by the Medical Emergency Attention System, the Red Cross and the White Helmets, an emergency body that is part of the Foreign Ministry.

Kirchner died on Wednesday, and the state funeral in his honor lasted from 10 a.m. local time (1300 GMT) on Thursday to nearly noon on Friday, because tens of thousands of Argentines wanted to bid farewell to the former head of state.

The support operation required two mobile units, which were stationed on either side of the Casa Rosada presidential palace. Each unit had 15 doctors, 15 nurses and two drivers.

Following the extended funeral, Kirchner's body was escorted by the General San Martin Mounted Grenadiers Regiment, a presidential guard created in 1812, to the Aeroparque Military Air Base. Twenty police officers were deployed on each block on the cortege's route.

Argentines greeted Kirchner's cortege with patriotic chants and songs including "Rain rain rain but the people will not move," " Nestor Lives" and "Strength to Cristina."

An Air Force plane then carried Kirchner's body to Santa Cruz, his home province around 2,600 kilometers south of the capital. The aircraft also carried his widow, incumbent President Cristina Kirchner, Secretary-general of the presidency Oscar Parrilli and several other senior government officials.

Kirchner's final resting place will be the Rio Gallegos cemetery.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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