COVID-19 Spike in Shanghai Causes Hospitals to Suspend Services, Lockdown of Major Universities

By Alex Wu
March 20, 2022

The COVID-19 outbreak in China’s megacity Shanghai continues to spread in different parts of the city, causing major hospitals to suspend medical services since March 18. Major universities are also under lockdown. In one university, the virus continues to spread within. Students are panicking, criticizing the university for negligence and attracting wide attention.

Xinhua Hospital Affliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Fudan University, and the Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center announced on March 17 that they would suspend medical services starting March 18 due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the city.

On March 12, major universities in Shanghai, including Jiaotong University, Fudan University, East China Normal University, Tongji University, and other colleges and universities, issued emergency notices stating that lockdowns would be implemented, requiring everyone in the universities and colleges to “stay in.”

In fact, Shanghai Jiaotong University was locked down as early as March 9. Liu Ping (pseudonym), a student at the Minhang campus of Shanghai Jiaotong University, told the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times on March 17 that on March 9 the school suddenly said that it would be closed in the morning without any advance notice. Faculty and staff who were coming to school for work were stopped at the gate by securities and told “if you come in, you cannot leave.” Those who already were in were not allowed to leave and assigned to be pandemic control volunteers on campus.

It was a chaotic day, Liu said. Students started panic shopping for food at the school supermarket, emptying the shelves, even the instant noodles were all gone.

Epoch Times Photo
The school supermarket is sold out at Shanghai Jiaotong University after it locked down its campus on March 9, 2022. (Supplied by interviewee)

Liu said that during the first few days of the lockdown, students at the school could still enter and leave the dormitory buildings freely, the shops on campus were open as normal, and the cafeteria provided takeaway meals. But on March 12, the dormitory buildings began to close down.

Liu revealed that the centralized nucleic acid tests conducted by the school were mixed nucleic acid test samples of 10 people per one tube/pool. On March 12, 160 people were taken to the teaching building for isolation because some students had abnormal nucleic acid test results in the mixed sample pools. On March 13, the results of further individual tests came out. One student in the isolation classroom was positive and other students who tested negative but were in close contact returned to their dormitory.

The students were worried and posted on the school website: “Several of us are roommates and were tested together and put in one classroom for isolation. After being tested individually, one of us was positive and was taken to the hospital. The rest of us repeatedly asked the school pandemic control staff ‘Are we going to be quarantined?’ After a long while, the teacher in charge said, ‘Let them go back to the dormitory directly.’” Liu said “the school does not have any protection measures for the students in the same dormitory.”

Workers are seen wearing protective clothes next to some lockdown areas after the detection of new cases of COVID-19 in Shanghai on March 14, 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

According to data released by Shanghai authorities, on March 16, Shanghai Jiaotong University had a total of 45 confirmed cases, including both students and workers on campus construction sites, making it one of the most concentrated spots in the outbreak. Students from the university have been appearing in the new reported cases in Shanghai every day.

Liu said that there were lalso positive cases or close contacts in several dormitories around his, and the numbers were unknown.

On March 16, there were students who tested positive in the dormitory building West Building 14. But there was no teacher, dorm supervisor, or janitor in the building to take care of things. Liu said that the janitor of the building tested positive and the students had to run the dorm building themselves while locked in.

A post on social media complains: “I live in West 14, and now it’s all students who collect trash, clean the toilets, and distribute food. My classmates have reported the issue many times but no one has responded. So far, we are still left totally by ourselves in the building.”

Another student in the building posted: “After waiting for 9 days, still no janitor came and the university didn’t give us any protective clothing. How can I ‘do my best to protect myself?’ I don’t know who is infected in the mixed collective test every day. I’m so nervous going up and down the stairs.”

After continuous protests by students online, on March 18, the 200 students the dorm building West 14 were sent to hotels for quarantine. “Because some students tested positive in the retest, all the students in the building have been sent to 7 different quarantine sites,” a student revealed to the publication.

Regarding the continuous detection of positive cases in the school dormitory building, The Epoch Times reached out to the school hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong University Minhang Campus on March 18. A female doctor said, “I don’t know.” As for the outbreak on campus that was not under control, she said, ” I don’t know, we don’t know about that.”


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