Despite implementing strict epidemic prevention measures, the epidemic is still raging in China. Recently, new variants of Omicron have hit many cities in Mainland China, leading to increased government control. Before the travel restrictions on campuses in Beijing, students at some universities protested. In Shanghai, residents fear that the city will be closed again.
Protests in Beijing
Historian Zhang Lifan posted a video on Twitter on July 6 depicting crowds of residents and students gathering at the Beijing Institute of Technology. Police cars also appeared. Although the video did not show the scuffle, witnesses said the school director personally led people to blockade.
According to Zhang, the protest occurred after the school issued a new regulation on disease prevention, causing inconvenience in moving around on campus.
Radio Free Asia then called the security office of the Beijing Institute of Technology to inquire about the situation. The staff who answered the phone after discovering that a reporter had called, hung up and did not give any information.
Zhang also retweeted the announcement of the Beijing Institute of Technology’s Retirement Office. The notice said retired lecturers of the university can enter the teaching area with a card that proves negative nucleic acid test results within 72 hours. At the same time, the lecturers also have travel codes and strictly implement the code scanning.
If special circumstances such as inconvenient transportation exist, personnel may nominate one co-resident to accompany them. However, lecturers must request to leave the area one day in advance. At the same time, an ID card, 72-hour negative nucleic acid test results, trip code, code scanning, and temperature measurement are also required. For the first time in and out, the accompanying person needs to make an application for approval first.
Retired lecturers and staff living off-campus must report to the Retirement Affairs Department at least one business day in advance. Once approved, they can enter and exit the university with a card, and the cumbersome procedures are repeated as above.
Radio Free Asia also called the Beijing Institute of Technology’s Retirement Office to confirm any protest against the new regulations. A teacher named Zhou said he was unaware of the lecturers and residents gathering because they were not satisfied with the new rules on the university campus. But Zhou said that the new regulations had received many objections.
The newspaper also said that because of dissatisfaction with the closure and strict control of the university, students had protested more often in recent months. The universities where the protests took place include Beijing University of International Studies, Beijing University, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing Normal University, and even Tianjin University.
Vision Times cited a report by the Beijing Municipal Health Commission saying that, on July 5, in Beijing, there were six new local cases and one asymptomatic case. Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that three of the cases infected on day five belonged to the BA.5.2 branch of the Omicron variant and were in different transmission chains.
Shanghai fears of reclosing
Vision Times reported that Shanghai witnessed a resurgence of the epidemic.
The newspaper cited a report by the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission saying that on July 5, 24 new positive cases were reported in the city, all related to the spread at KTV (Karaoke Television) on Lanxi Road, Putuo District.
Netizens have posted videos saying many places have restarted lockdowns and large-scale nucleic acid testing measures. The number of medium and high-risk areas has increased to 35.
Shanghai also unexpectedly announced on July 5 that 12 of the city’s 16 special administrative regions would conduct large-scale nucleic acid testing. With a “twice times in 3 days” frequency from July 5 to 7.
Fearing that Shanghai would be locked down again, people lined up to leave Shanghai at Hongqiao train station.
Another video depicts a young man going back to get something and then locked up, unable to get on the plane.
One video shows Shanghai citizens starting to line up to take nucleic acid tests before they can go to work.
Currently, Shanghai ranks fourth place for high-risk areas. All KTV areas are also closed.
Xi’an closed urgently on the same day
NTD said, on July 5, Xi’an also announced a temporary lockdown for seven days.
The city announced that it will implement a “temporary control” from July 6.
After the announcement was issued, that night, people lined up at the train station, preparing to flee.
Xian University students fled before the administration closed.