Chinese students return to school amid zero local COVID-19 transmissions
Published: Mar 01, 2021 06:15 PM
Students from middle and primary schools and kindergartens in Beijing ushered in the new semester as planned on March 1.Photo:Li Hao/GT

Students from middle and primary schools and kindergartens in Beijing ushered in the new semester as planned on March 1.Photo:Li Hao/GT

Chinese students on Monday returned to campuses amid zero domestic COVID-19 transmissions for 14 consecutive days.

Schools in Beijing saw students wearing masks return to campus on a snowy Monday morning. When the Global Times visited Jingyuan school in Beijing's Shijingshan district on Monday morning, the reporter saw every student wearing a mask in class and were only allowed to enter the campus after having their body temperature checked.

Beijing required students to return to the city 14 days ahead of the first school day. Returnees have to show their health QR codes and nucleic acid test results when they go back to school.

In order to ensure the safety of students, Beijing's primary and secondary schools have undergone thorough disinfection in preparation for the return of the students.

The Shuangyushu first primary school in Beijing also disinfected textbooks before they were delivered to 1,399 students.

The return of the students to campus came as the country recorded zero domestic cases for 14 successive days since February 14, according to data from the National Health Commission.  

The 14 successive days of zero domestic infections highlight the fact that China has weathered the epidemic challenge brought by the flow of people during Spring Festival, Wang Guangfa, a respiratory expert at Peking University First Hospital, told the Global Times.

"The overall epidemic situation in China is stable as China has brought an end to previous rounds of domestic outbreaks and the number of imported cases is also experiencing a downward trend," Wang said.

The reason why students could return to schools with a relaxed frame of mind is that the public has gained confidence in the country and its strong ability to handle outbreaks, Wang said. China usually takes about two or three weeks to overcome a round of infections, the expert said.

"As we usher in the year of the Ox, we have great expectations for the stable domestic epidemic situation, and I personally as a parent feel relieved to send my child back to school at a time when our country is reporting no cases," Zhang Jing, the mother of a five-year-old from Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday.

Shijiazhuang, the capital city of North China's Hebei, where one of the most serious outbreaks occurred, will also see the return of 1.45 million students from elementary and middle schools to campus on Monday. Kindergarten students will start their classes after March 8.