Internacionales

New outbreak prompts China to lock down university campus

Quar­an­tines, oblig­a­tory test­ing and trav­el re­stric­tions have be­come the new nor­mal for those even re­mote­ly caught up in out­breaks. The coun­try’s vac­ci­na­tion rate is among the world’s high­est and au­thor­i­ties have be­gun ad­min­is­ter­ing boost­er shots as win­ter de­scends

SOURCE: AS­SO­CI­AT­ED PRESS

 

BEI­JING (AP) — Chi­na has con­fined near­ly 1,500 uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents to their dor­mi­to­ries and ho­tels fol­low­ing an out­break of COVID-19 in the north-east­ern city of Dalian.

The or­der was is­sued Sun­day af­ter sev­er­al dozen cas­es were re­port­ed at Zhuanghe Uni­ver­si­ty City and hun­dreds of stu­dents were trans­ferred to ho­tels for ob­ser­va­tion.

Stu­dents were at­tend­ing class re­mote­ly and hav­ing their meals de­liv­ered to their rooms.

The lock­down is the lat­est ex­am­ple of Chi­na’s ze­ro-tol­er­ance ap­proach to the out­break, which has brought con­sid­er­able dis­rup­tion to peo­ple’s lives and liveli­hoods.

Quar­an­tines, oblig­a­tory test­ing and trav­el re­stric­tions have be­come the new nor­mal for those even re­mote­ly caught up in out­breaks. The coun­try’s vac­ci­na­tion rate is among the world’s high­est and au­thor­i­ties have be­gun ad­min­is­ter­ing boost­er shots as win­ter de­scends.

While those mea­sures have met lit­tle open re­sis­tance, the re­cent killing of a quar­an­tined per­son’s pet dog by health work­ers brought a wave of com­plaints on­line. The in­ci­dent in the cen­tral city of Shangrao prompt­ed lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to is­sue a state­ment say­ing the pet own­er and health work­ers had “reached an un­der­stand­ing.”

Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, the Chi­na Small An­i­mal Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion called for a quar­an­tine sys­tem to care for pets caught in such sit­u­a­tions.

“Pets are peo­ple’s spir­i­tu­al part­ners and should not be harmed un­der the pre­text of fight­ing the pan­dem­ic,” it said in a state­ment. “If you bring the hand of doom down on an in­no­cent life with­out the slight­est abil­i­ty to de­fend it­self, then how can you even talk about hu­man­i­tar­i­an­ism?”

Among oth­er new mea­sures, Bei­jing start­ing Wednes­day will re­quire all peo­ple ar­riv­ing from oth­er parts of the coun­try by plane, train, bus or car to pro­duce a neg­a­tive virus test tak­en over the pre­vi­ous 48 hours.

De­spite iso­lat­ed cas­es in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try, Chi­na has been able to sup­press ma­jor out­breaks over the past year, with its to­tal num­ber of re­port­ed cas­es stand­ing at 98,315 with 4,636 deaths.

On Mon­day, the Na­tion­al Health Com­mis­sion an­nounced 32 new cas­es of lo­cal trans­mis­sion over the pre­vi­ous 24 hours, 25 of them in Dalian.