H1N1 Closes 16 Schools in Heilongjiang Province

September 29, 2009 11:34 pm Last Updated: December 4, 2009 4:12 pm

A total of 16 universities, middle schools, and elementary schools in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang Province were closed after students tested positive for H1N1 in early September, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Sept. 26.

The head of the Heilongjiang Province Health Department, Li Bin, said that 464 cases of H1N1 infection had been reported across the province by Sept. 24.

Heilongjiang University reported a cluster of H1N1 infections on Sept. 13, while the Harbin Institute of Technology was closed for three days after Sept. 16.

A swathe of other universities had also closed, according to phone calls The Epoch Times made to those places.

A sophomore who gave the name Chen at Harbin Institute of Technology said “Several schools in our area are on the brink of an outbreak. There were indeed many confirmed cases of H1N1 on campus. The situation in Heilongjiang University and Harbin Institute of Technology are worse.”

Chen said more than 20 cases were reported in a single day on his campus. “Countless people were quarantined and classes were suspended for two weeks. We are not allowed to leave the campus. We have tens of thousands of students.”

Another student, Song, at the Harbin Institute of Technology said that dormitories are locked down. “On Sept. 25 we were told that school would be closed. Students were not given vaccine shots. They just took our temperatures. Those with fever were quarantined and sent to a hospital if their fever persisted.”

Zhang, a student from Daqing Normal University, told a similar story.

A woman from the Daqing City Center of Disease Control said they do not currently have the H1N1 vaccine. “A few days ago we gave people the regular flu vaccine shots. The shots were given to those who made the request and paid 90 yuan (US$14). However, now we are also out of the regular flu vaccine.”

Bloggers were in a panic over the news. An anonymous blogger on a tianya.cn forum wrote: “My mother works in the quarantine and prevention part of the hospital, she said the swine flu has erupted severely. It’s only because of the 60th anniversary that they don’t dare to say it. In actuality, after Oct. 1 there is going to a large scale pandemic. A lot of suppressed cases are all going to leap out.”

Based on the latest statistics published by China’s Ministry of Health, there were 15,968 confirmed H1N1 cases in the country as of Sept. 25, according to a China News Service report on Sept. 26.

Read the original Chinese article.