China’s capital city ramps up fight against COVID on campus as more cases reported from cluster infections in another Beijing uni. at start of new semester
Published: Sep 10, 2022 10:51 PM
Communication University of China. Photo: VCG

Communication University of China. Photo: VCG

Beijing reported eight confirmed local COVID-19 cases and two more whose preliminary test results returned positive as of Saturday afternoon, linked back to a university campus. It comes following a cluster infection in another university in the city, just as students began their new semester and are about to enjoy their three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. 

Eight confirmed local cases were reported from 0:00 to 15:00 on Saturday, with seven of the new cases being students on campus of the Communication University of China in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, local authorities said at a press conference on Saturday, noting that all of the infected students had been transferred to designated hospitals. 

Chaoyang district officials initiated epidemiological investigation as quickly as possible. As of 3 pm, a total of 584 people were identified as close contacts, and 22,047 people were tested for COVID-19,  two of which had returned positive results. 

The university has entered closed-loop management on Friday, after one suspicious case was found on campus, according to a statement the university issued on Saturday morning.

In another university, the Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT), 7,800 people have been screened for COVID-19 at its Changping and Haidian campuses, all returning negative results, said Wang Feng, Vice President of the university. At present, the Haidian campus has been adjusted from temporary control to regular epidemic prevention and control management, with teachers and students insisting on “not leaving the campus unless necessary.”

As of Friday, 41 infections had been linked to BUCT, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Facing the COVID-19 flare-ups of campus-related cluster infections in Beijing, Cai Qi, secretary of the Communist Party of China Beijing Municipal Committee, held an epidemic prevention and control press conference on Saturday during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, Beijing Daily reported. 

Cai visited the two universities to oversee nucleic acid screening, quarantining and service guarantee, stressing that it’s important to take good care of the students, meanwhile sharing moon cakes for everyone to spend a special Mid-Autumn Festival despite the fight against the epidemic, according to the report.  

Reflecting on the two cluster infections in campuses, Cai asked all universities in Beijing to learn lessons from the cases and ensure the epidemic prevention is effective for returning students and freshmen as the new semester begins. Special attention should be put on the management of students returning to Beijing from elsewhere, and health stations for epidemic control should also be well prepared.

Emergency coping mechanisms in schools should be put in place, meanwhile offering strengthened anti-epidemic trainings campus staff. At the same time, campus life could be more colorfully arranged during the holiday, and essential items of those on campus must be available and fairly priced, Cai was quoted in the report. 

Given the current situation, all aspects of the universities should be mobilized, and the local epidemic prevention forces should collaborate with the schools in fighting against the epidemic, Cai noted.