China Sends College Students to Quarantine Under Zero COVID. WGN Radio 720

BEIJING (AP) — About 500 students at China’s top university for broadcast journalists have been sent to quarantine centers after a small number of COVID-19 cases were detected in their dormitories.

488 students from the Communication University of China, along with 19 teachers and 5 assistants, traveled by bus from Friday evening.

Isolating people who may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus is a pillar of China’s “zero COVID” policy. Quarantine centers include field hospitals and converted stadiums and exhibition centers criticized for overcrowding, poor hygiene and spoiled food.

About 65 million Chinese residents were under lockdown as of last week, despite only 1,248 new cases of domestic infections being reported on Sunday. Most of them were asymptomatic.

Lockdowns have sparked online protests and standoffs with healthcare workers and police, devastating economies and impacting global supply chains for electronics and other products. A weeks-long lockdown in China’s largest city, Shanghai, over the summer caused an outflow of migrant workers and foreign businessmen, but its effects are yet to be felt.

With the release of economic data this week, analysts are seeking insight into how China’s handling of the pandemic is affecting economic activity in the world’s second-largest economy. The lockdown comes with near-daily tests, travel restrictions and suspension of classes at all levels.

China has pursued relentless enforcement of its policies, even as virtually every other country seeks to return to normal life with the help of vaccines and drugs to fight the virus.

“Zero-COVID” is closely associated with President Xi Jinping, leading to accusations that the government has politicized the public health crisis. His administration rejected World Health Organization statements that the policy was unsustainable and refused to approve foreign vaccines widely believed to be more effective than those produced by Chinese companies. did.

Xi, who has not left the country since the pandemic began in early 2020, has seized every lever of power, struck a divisive tone in foreign policy, sidelined or imprisoned rivals. . He is set to lift presidential term limits and enter his five-year term in his third term as Communist Party leader at next month’s party convention. China Sends College Students to Quarantine Under Zero COVID. WGN Radio 720

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