City's universities welcome students back
Some universities in Shanghai saw the first batch of students return on Monday.
At the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, loudspeakers at its gates reminded students the procedure for return: “Please go through the special channel, get ready with your campus ID cards and health codes, have your temperature checked and swipe your card to enter the campus....”
Volunteers and university staff at the gate disinfected students’ luggage and guided them through entry procedures.
At 9am, Wang Wei, a senior student at the school of medical instrument and food engineering, was the first to arrive at a gate on Jungong Road.
The university had announced earlier that its graduating postgraduate students could return from Monday, and graduating undergraduates from Tuesday. Other students can come back in batches from May 6. Dates for overseas students will be announced later.
“The procedure is much stricter than I had expected, but it makes me feel safer,” said Wang. “I'm also glad that the long vacation is over. Now I can finish my dissertation with the lab here. The pandemic has halted many things in our life. I hope everything will revive like the spring.”
Protective measures are in place on campus to ensure students’ safety and health.
In the canteens, diners have to line up and go through the infrared thermometers one by one and follow marks on the floor to move in one direction and keep a distance from each other. Only packed meals are served and students are encouraged to take food back to their dorms. If they eat in the canteens, they have to face in the same direction and at a distance apart.
There are five canteens open now and their menus are pasted in each dorm building so that students can choose their favorite.
There are also three stalls on campus open at noon every day for students to buy milk and bread.
In the dorms, management staff are ventilating rooms, disinfecting the floors, stairs, handrails, tea rooms, doorknobs and other areas that students might use frequently.
“Our No. 6 dorm building alone has more than 600 rooms,” said Cao Jie, a member of the management staff. “It’s exhausting to climb up and down to open their windows in the morning and close them at nightfall, and to disinfect the building. But it’s worth it to protect the students’ health.”
Alcohol wipes, masks, thermometers, hand sanitizer and notices for self-protection have been put in the dormitory rooms.
“I'm really touched to see the heartwarming package in the dorm,” said Pan Xiong, a student at the school of energy and power engineering.
The library is open but with visitors limited to 1,000 people at any one time. The university has developed a system to allow students check the number of visitors at the library on its website and WeChat account.
It has also developed a system for students to book sports facilities on campus.
“Ping pong tables are two meters away from each other; each tennis court only allows two players and there are limits on the number of people in the fitness room,” said Zhang Xiang, a student of optical-electrical and computer engineering. “The reservation system is very informative and easy to use.”
A guidebook for students to adapt to campus life after the long vacation has been compiled by the university and related lectures and consultation services will be delivered via the campus radio network. A hotline has also been launched with psychiatrists to answer students questions round the clock.
At Fudan University, a small number of students have also returned.
The university said a system has been developed for students to submit applications for return and several drills have been organized to test its anti-pandemic measures.
Rooms have been set up at the gates of its four campuses, where students have their temperatures checked by infrared thermometers. Those with a fever will be checked again with portable thermometers.
Public areas are disinfected four times a day and ventilated at least twice a day.
Bathrooms will be closed for an hour for disinfection and ventilation every time after it’s used for an hour.
All the campus canteens will open with extended hours. Students and teachers are encouraged to place orders for packed meals online in groups and take turns to pick up the meals.
From Monday to Thursday, most returnees will be graduating students, the university said, adding that they will continue to take online classes while several labs will be open for experiments and research.
The campuses will remain locked down and students are not allowed to take internships outside.