University quarantines returning students

Yang Meiping
At East China Normal University, 59 students from Hubei Province checked in at the faculty center, accommodation usually used during training, conferences and other activities.
Yang Meiping
Shot by Ma Xuefeng. Edited by Zhong Youyang. Subtitles by Wang Xinzhou and Andy Boreham.
University quarantines returning students
Dong Jun / SHINE

Doctors from the campus hospital of East China Normal University put on protective gear to start work.

More university students are returning to Shanghai with some from Hubei Province undergoing 14-day quarantine.

At East China Normal University, 59 students from Hubei arrived on Wednesday and checked in at the faculty center. The center is a hotel run by the university as accommodation during training, conferences and other activities, all now suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zhao Linhua, of the university’s student affairs office, said students need to submit applications at least three days before they arrive, explaining the reason for their return, detailing their itinerary and showing their green health codes. They also have to complete a health statement.

“Under our current COVID-19 prevention measures, only graduating students and those with important research tasks can return,” he said.

Some non-locals already in Shanghai could return from April 29 and a total of 107 have returned. Those from Hubei can return from Wednesday but need to undergo 14 days quarantine at the faculty center and pass nucleic acid and antibody tests.

“A total of 59 have been approved to return on Wednesday, 23 on Thursday and five on Friday,” said Zhao. “We will invite medics to take samples for tests on Saturday. Those who are in Shanghai but haven’t taken the tests can also come to have their samples taken if they wish.”

University quarantines returning students
Dong Jun / SHINE

Ruan Xianhan (left), from Huangshi in Hubei Province, arrives at the faculty center of East China Normal University.

Ruan Xianhan, from Huangshi in Hubei and a graduating masters student at the university’s school of communications, arrived at the center around 2:30pm on Wednesday.

She walked into a tent erected in front of the faculty center to scan the QR health code on her smartphone. She then had her temperature checked by a university hospital doctor.

She then moved to another tent to answer questions for epidemiological investigation. She was told to stay in her room and check her temperature twice a day. Meals will be put at her door.

University quarantines returning students
Dong Jun / SHINE

Ruan answers a doctor's questions.

“I submitted my application for return immediately after I got to know the notice and bought a train ticket,” said Ruan, “because I need to take part in oral defense for my dissertation and in interviews for potential jobs in Shanghai.”

She said she had taken internships to teach online classes when she was at home but will see if there are better opportunities to decide which job to take.

“I’m so grateful to my university for making such considerate arrangements for us, including accommodation for quarantine and the virus tests, which are helpful in not only campus life, but also future internships and jobs,” said Ruan.

Zhao said more students will return from May 11 and all graduating students will have to return before June 11 to finish graduation procedures.

University quarantines returning students
Dong Jun / SHINE

Ruan checks in at the faculty center.

University quarantines returning students
Dong Jun / SHINE

A bottle of cotton swabs and a thermometer have been put in each room for quarantined students.

University quarantines returning students
Dong Jun / SHINE

A worker at the center disinfects the corridors after a student walked by.

University quarantines returning students
Dong Jun / SHINE

More students arrive at the faculty center.

University quarantines returning students
Dong Jun / SHINE

Students answer questions on their return to university.

University quarantines returning students
Dong Jun / SHINE

A student's temperature is checked. 

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