Reopening campuses is safe, China’s top epidemiologist says

By Liu Caiyu Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/10 17:02:05

Students get back to the campus for new term at a middle school near a residential area of relocation site in Sansui County of southwest China's Guizhou Province, Aug. 30, 2020. Guizhou has relocated a total of 1,880 thousand people as a way to make poverty alleviation efforts during the 13th five-year plan period (2016-2020). In order to help children relocated from impoverished areas have access to better education, Guizhou has made all-out efforts to construct or expand 669 schools at the relocation sites. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin)

 Chinese schools can consider reopening campuses gradually so that they could return to normalcy as the rest of the society, China’s top epidemiologist said after China withstood the test of the novel coronavirus during the eight-day National Day holiday with no new domestic cases were reported.

Cities are generally adopting a cautious attitude in gradually reopening local schools but based on the epidemic situation, reopening campuses should be safe, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with Chinese media on Friday night.

“Schools can consider gradually reopening campuses so that they could return to normal order like other departments and the society,” Wu said, adding that the large-scale domestic travel during the National Day holiday proved that China withstood the test and that it is safe to travel in China. 

The suggestion from Wu delighted Chinese students on campuses which are under tight management to stop the spread of the COVID-19. 

Some students reached by the Global Times on Saturday said that they were eager to go out of the campus after staying inside for about a month since classes resumed. 

Meng Jiajia, a university student in Langfang, North China’s Hebei Province, told the Global Times that students are not allowed to go out without special reasons, and deliverymen are also not allowed to enter the campus. 

Some colleges reportedly allow students to enter and exit the school only after measuring body temperature and checking health codes.

“We are thrilled to read the news on Weibo that campuses can be reopened. I understand closing the campus is aimed at protecting students from the virus, but we look forward to normal life like the rest of the public,” Meng said.

According to the latest data from the National Health Commission, China has no new local COVID-19 cases for 55 consecutive days, even after hundreds of millions of people traveled during the National Day holiday.

Data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism showed that China recorded 637 million domestic trips during the combined eight-day Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday, generating a total revenue of 467 billion yuan ($68.79 billion). 

Wu said that China had withstood a big test during the holiday but added that since there is an incubation period for novel coronavirus, we need to wait for another 10 days before reaching a final conclusion.


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