Schools in Wuhan convert dorms to quarantine areas
Updated 08:31, 10-Feb-2020
By Xu Xinchen
Several dorms at Wuhan Business University are now being turned into wards that can take in coronavirus patients with mild symptoms. Six hundred rooms are being converted taking in a total of 2,400 patients.
"First, we have to clean out students' belongings in the dorm and seal them up for storage. The beds are all modified by workers overnight to make the room more like a four-patient room in a ward," said Lang Xianmei, a teacher from the university who helped with the conversion.
Each room has four beds, one bath and daily supplies have already been put inside rooms which have been converted. The construction team says wastewater pipes are also being modified to prevent contamination. Lang admitted that since they also have to sterilize rooms after the epidemic ends, it might push off school terms further but the school is also gearing to start the semester online. Some 18 students are still living on campus now, but have been relocated to a different campus.
The move comes amid the city of Wuhan trying to offer each coronavirus patient a hospital bed. Due to the bed shortage, public buildings have been turned into temporary hospitals. The city is also ramping up the effort to isolate all suspected coronavirus patients.
"All staff from the school are in fact now living with those taken in and eating the same food," said Wang Dingzhen, the vice principal of the Hongshan District Party School in Wuhan.
Her school has been turned to a quarantine point for suspected coronavirus patients about two weeks ago. It can take in a total of 90 people – one person one room. Now, 75 suspected cases have been quarantined there, but only two doctors and two nurses are on duty. School staff have to do all the chores to keep the quarantine point in check – removing trash and sterilizing the living quarters. Those who are diagnosed with having the virus will be transferred to hospitals.
"Our school is now only a quarantine point for medical surveillance. We only take in suspected cases, we cannot offer much in terms of medical treatment," said Wang.