As the CCP virus outbreak worsens in Xingtai city, Hebei Province in northern China, some schools have been converted into makeshift quarantine centers, where authorities usually isolate close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients. They are monitored for their health condition in case they develop COVID-19 symptoms.
Having run out of room in local hotels, authorities have begun using schools as isolation centers, instructing teachers and students to clear out of the space.
But in one case, a local boarding school for students aged 12 to 18 initially refused to let out students whose families were not permanent residents of the area. They were corralled into several classrooms and not allowed to leave the rooms—drawing complaints from worried parents.
Fengyi Middle School is a large private school with four dorm buildings. The total staff and student population is more than 10,000. Most of the students come from Nangong, a county-level municipality under Xingtai, and other neighboring counties.
The Epoch Times learned from parents and relatives of students at Fengyi Middle School that those who did not have residency in Nangong were made to stay on campus as authorities began placing people into isolation there on Jan. 10.
One parent confirmed that students were told to leave their dorms so that people in need of quarantine could be relocated there.
A resident of Xingtai who has a teenager relative studying at the school told the Chinese-language Epoch Times what happened.
The non-local students were placed into designated classrooms. They had to spend the night there.
Due to the limited space, “many had to go to sleep by sitting up,” the Xingtai resident said.
A video uploaded onto social media showed a large, messy classroom packed with young teens. Suitcases, quilts, and pillows were placed throughout the classroom.
Parents were worried that their children were at risk due to the presence of suspected virus carriers who were being quarantined in the school.
On Jan. 11, a staffer at the Nangong education bureau told Chinese online news outlet Ou’er Zhiyu that all schools in Xingtai city were being converted into quarantine centers.
About three days later, the non-local students were finally allowed to go home, parents said.
Another online video showed the people being quarantined at the Fengyi Middle School.
During mealtime, people fought to get in line first. The facility only had one public toilet available.
A mother surnamed Zhang was forcibly isolated there with her baby. She told Ou’er Zhiyu: “I’ve been here for two days and have had five meals. But four of them were cold.”
Another woman, who was being quarantined there with her 3-year-old child, described her experience in a post on a government website that receives complaints from citizens.
She said her home was initially sealed off and padlocked while they were self-isolating. Then, she suddenly received an emergency notice requesting her to move to Fengyi Middle School.
“After we came, however, what we saw here frightened us. People move freely as they like, and staff do nothing to prevent them. Yesterday, my child was crying all day long, and didn’t eat anything. Can’t imagine how we can survive here. Oh, my government leaders, this isn’t quarantine! This is leading my child and me to destruction,” the mother complained.