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Global Times

China rolls out anti-epidemic measures for new semester

Global Times

By Liu Caiyu Published: Aug 24, 2021 08:39 PM

As the domestic infection curve has been flattened, health and education authorities in China have rolled out specific measures to prevent COVID-19 flare-ups from hitting campuses as cities brace for a new semester, which starts in September.

Teachers and students in schools, kindergartens and universities shall not visit medium- and high-risk regions and should report their temperature and coronavirus-related symptoms, register their travel history and QR health codes for successive14 days before the new semester begins, according to a guideline jointly released by National Health Commission and Ministry of Education recently.

The guideline encourages teachers and students who have no contraindications to receive COVID-19 vaccines. It also stresses schools' responsibility in daily strict management, including hygiene of canteens, in enhancing epidemic prevention and control capability.

The Global Times found that schools in most cities will begin classes on schedule as the domestic epidemic resurgence comes to an end. China reported only one confirmed case in Shangqiu, Central China's Henan Province, after Monday's zero new confirmed cases nationwide.

Beijing said schools in the capital will officially start a new semester on September 1. Southwest China's Chongqing said the epidemic is basically controlled and schools will begin a new term as scheduled on September 1 and universities will also begin classes from August 27 to September 6 in staggered shifts. A new semester in Changsha in Hunan Province will begin after September 1.

Henan, which recently experienced floods and epidemic clusters, decided that universities and schools in high- and medium-risk regions will not start the new term before September 15. If schools cannot start classes due to the epidemic situation, they should prepare for online classes.

A 14-day health monitoring and clean travel histories are listed as mandatory requirements for teachers and students to enter campus.

Besides that, Beijing also requires teachers and kindergartens from low-risk regions to present negative nucleic acid tests before they are allowed to enter campuses. Those from medium- and high-risk regions could return only after the risk level was lowered.

East China's Zhejiang Province requires security guards, logistic workers and those who work in school canteens to present their vaccination records and negative nucleic acid test records and be given one training session on epidemic prevention and campus security.

Some cities encourage students and teachers to get COVID-19 vaccine as early as possible, as the new semester begins. These include cities in Hunan Province, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Guangdong Province.

Henan Province is also ramping up efforts to publicize vaccination of students aged between 12 and 17 years, setting the goal of finishing the first shot before August 25 and the second shot before September 15.

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