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Universities cut holiday to prevent spread of COVID-19

By Wang Keju | | Updated: 2020-09-14 12:56
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Freshmen take pictures with their parents at Fudan University in Shanghai on Sept 12, 2020. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/]

A number of universities have reduced holiday for the coming National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival as students are encouraged not to leave the campus for nonessential travel to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As one of China's two "Golden Weeks", this year's National Day holiday, which runs from Oct 1 to 8, has been extended by one day as the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Oct 1.

Hubei University in Wuhan — the Chinese city once hard hit by the coronavirus — for instance, has cut the eight-day holiday to a one-day break, but will begin the winter vacation at an earlier date as a compensation, according to the university's school calendar for the fall semester.

North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power in Zhengzhou, Henan province, has halved the holiday to four days. It will start winter vacation a week earlier than scheduled instead.

Many universities across the country have followed suit to curtail the combined holiday of National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival and extend the winter vacation to make up for the shortened holiday.

Wang Dengfeng, head of the department of physical, health and arts education under the Ministry of Education, said at a news conference last month that colleges should make region-specific arrangements in line with the current epidemic prevention and control requirements. Students and faculty members are being encouraged not to leave the campus for nonessential travel and avoid mass gathering activities, especially in places of poor ventilation, he added.

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