County government promises rectification as viral video shows brutal outbreak control operation at tutoring school

Nanjing photo: VCG

Authorities in Hanshan County, east China’s Anhui Province, said on Friday they would deal with local officials who failed to meet expected standards when they raided an off-campus classroom which clearly violated the epidemic prevention rules.

The statement came after a controversial video went viral online Friday, in which a man wearing an armband opens a door and rushes into the room full of young students before dragging the teacher out of the room. The video was widely shared on social media, sparking huge controversy.

Photo: A screenshot of Sina Weibo

Photo: A screenshot of Sina Weibo

Responding to reactions online, the Hanshan County Outbreak Control Team released a statement Friday explaining that team members were taking action to enforce epidemic control regulations.

The team received a report Thursday morning of an undeclared gathering of students in violation of epidemic prevention rules. Community workers then visited the site and spoke to Jia, the man in charge of the site, who promised that he would suspend classes according to local orders.

However, the team again received a complaint in the afternoon that the tutoring was still ongoing. Police and epidemic control officers arrived at the scene and removed around 30 students attending a class. However, the staff were unable to enter one of the rooms despite knocking on the door for about 10 minutes.

Given the circumstances, the police decided to burst into the room, as shown in the video. Staff removed 18 students inside, many of whom were not wearing masks.

Many netizens said it was understandable that law enforcement took the necessary steps to prevent gatherings during the outbreak, but criticized the way they kicked in the door and dragged the man out of the door. room. Some noted that such behavior would likely psychologically harm the students in the room.

Others have shown their support for law enforcement, stressing that it would be dangerous to organize private lessons in overcrowded places amid the peak of Delta variant infections. They brought up the case of an elderly woman from Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, who may have inadvertently caused hundreds of infections in the city as she walked to a mahjong hall without taking any action. protection.

Anhui is adjacent to Jiangsu Province, where the major cities of Nanjing and Yangzhou are struggling with outbreaks of COVID-19. Yangzhou suspended inbound and outbound rail links on Friday at noon amid a severe resurgence of COVID-19 in the city, which by Thursday had reached 220 infections, including 14 critically ill and two in critical conditions. Nanjing reported a total of 228 cases during the latest outbreak.

“The venue is not allowed to teach or hold classes, and it has severely violated the ban on off-campus tutoring during the outbreak. We demanded that it shut down and be punished,” the report read. Hanshan County news release.

Hanshan’s epidemic control leadership stressed in the statement that it will take serious care of staff members who resort to hasty and ill-formed law enforcement measures.

While it is legitimate for law enforcement to target illegal gatherings during the outbreak, they should operate according to public standards, Xiong Bingqi, director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute in Beijing, told the Global Times on Friday.

The incident comes as China is in the process of regulating the private education sector.

A large number of students meeting in a closed room without wearing a mask increases the risk of infection. If the private education industry becomes less visible, it can create a great challenge for law enforcement to uncover illegal gatherings and prevent infection of the community, experts have warned.

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