BEIJING—Almost 500 students at China’s premier college for broadcast journalists have been sent to a quarantine center after a handful of COVID-19 cases were detected in their dormitory.
The 488 students at Communication University of China, along with 19 teachers and five assistants, were transferred by bus beginning Friday night.
Quarantining anyone considered to have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus has been a pillar of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strict “zero-COVID” policy. The quarantine centers include field hospitals as well as converted stadiums and exhibition centers that have been criticized for overcrowding, poor sanitation, and spoiled food.
As of last week, approximately 65 million Chinese residents were under lockdown despite just 1,248 new cases of domestic transmission being reported on Sunday. Most of those were asymptomatic.
The actual number of COVID-19 cases may be much higher. China’s COVID-19 data is difficult to verify, as the Chinese regime routinely suppresses or alters information.
The lockdowns have sparked protests online and confrontations with health workers and police, and have exacted a major toll on the economy, affecting global supply chains for electronics and other products. The weekslong lockdown in China’s biggest city of Shanghai over the summer prompted an exodus of migrant workers and foreign business people.
With the release of economic data this week, analysts will be looking for insights into how the CCP’s handling of the pandemic is impacting economic activity in China. Lockdowns have been accompanied by nearly daily testing, travel restrictions, and the suspension of classes at all levels.