Students returning to Nanjing campuses after outbreak

By CANG WEI in Nanjing| China Daily| Updated: September 10, 2021 L M S

Junior and senior high school students in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, returned to campus on Thursday for the first time since an outbreak of COVID-19 in the city in late July.

The city's elementary, kindergarten and special education students will return to campuses on Monday.

Nanjing downgraded all areas to low risk on Aug 19. Airport workers in the city tested positive for COVID-19 on July 20, with the novel coronavirus involved later confirmed to be the highly contagious Delta variant.

Sun Yan, who lives in Jianye district and has a 13-year-old daughter, said she was happy that she no longer had to help the girl with online studies.

"Though the students returned to school today, they actually resumed study on the internet on Sept 1," she said.

"Except PE teachers, every teacher left homework, which you had to print and take pictures of the answers before uploading them to designated apps.

"My daughter was also happy to reunite with her classmates. Ten weeks being stuck at home with parents seemed to be too long a summer vacation for her."

Since Wednesday, museums, libraries, clubs and the indoor parts of scenic spots in Nanjing have been able to resume operation after submitting applications to the local government.

Cinemas should cap their attendance at 75 percent of capacity and frequently disinfect public areas and equipment such as seats, ticket machines and 3D glasses.

The audience should wear masks the whole time and not eat any snacks or drink any beverages, according to Nanjing's COVID-19 prevention and control headquarters.

Nanjing has reported 235 locally transmitted cases since July 20.

Parents in Yangzhou, Jiangsu, can also expect to send their children back to the classroom soon, as the tourist city classified all areas as low risk on Thursday.

Chang Ming, deputy director of Yangzhou's education bureau, said that students can return to school 21 days afterward.

"The safety of students must be guaranteed," he said. "To ensure school safety, many strict measures will be taken to prevent the virus."

Yangzhou has reported 570 locally transmitted cases since July 20. It quarantined many communities in its downtown areas on July 31 and suspended public transportation, which did not resume operation until Thursday, to contain the virus.

As of Thursday, 10 COVID-19 patients were still receiving treatment in designated hospitals in Jiangsu.