Chinese universities shut campuses and send students home in likely attempt to quash protests

China is sending university students home and shutting down campuses in order to stop them from joining the roiling protests against its zero-Covid policy.

Tens of thousands of people are pouring onto the streets to mark the biggest show of public anger against the coronavirus restrictions by the Xi Jinping administration.

These universities include Mr Xi’s alma mater, Tsinghua University, and other schools in Beijing who have stated that they were protecting students from Covid-19.

University spaces and campuses were among the few spots where the protest against the Chinese administration were being held through all of last week in at least eight cities, as many condemned the frustrating Covid lockdowns imposed across China.

Some of the varsities also arranged buses to take students to train stations and announced that the rest of the classes and final exams will be conducted online.

They did not mention when the universities will open their gates again.

Beijing foreign university said that it will “arrange for willing students to return to their hometowns". All faculty members and students have tested negative for the virus, it claimed.

China has also ramped up its crackdown on protests to check the participants in the demonstration against the Xi Jinping regime.

A student was contacted by their college authorities, asking if they were present at the spot where the events took place and also share a written account, reported Reuters.

In a similar instance, students from several colleges in the Sichuan province have been asked the details of the main organiser of the demonstration by their teachers, said a person who attended a protest in Chengdu.

After a dramatic weekend of protests in China, the authorities deployed police officials in full force, quelling the possibility of any more rallies on Tuesday.

No protests have been reported in Beijing, Shanghai or other major cities on Tuesday.

Police officers were reported patrolling areas in Shanghai and Beijing where some groups had suggested demonstrations and gathering but the police officials present on Monday night prevented the protests from happening.

Large number of police officers have gathered in the streets of Beijing, said 22-year-old resident Philip who called the atmosphere “really scary”.

This comes after around 50 students from mainland China protested at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in a show of support for protestors defying zero-Covid in the country. Chants of "No PCR tests but freedom!" and "Oppose dictatorship, don’t be slaves!” were also reported from the protests.

China recorded its first dip in Covid infections on Tuesday with a total of 38,645 new cases, out of which 3,624 are symptomatic and 35,021 are asymptomatic, the country’s health agency said.

This is down from 40,347 new infections recorded a day earlier.

China is the only major economy to impose a harsh zero-Covid policy to counter the outbreak, which has slowly been rejected by the nationals who are locked up indoors for more than four months in some regions and have been denied access to food and medicine.

The policy, while confining millions inside their homes to isolate every single infection, has helped China to keep its numbers less than the US, India, Brazil and other countries.

It has also battered China’s economy which has slumped due to the continued lockdowns. Profits depleted in 22 of China’s 41 major industrial sectors this year with analysts stating that the Chinese economy cannot handle more of Covid-related restrictions on industries and sectors.

The officials scaled down on some anti-virus restrictions on Monday in a bid to defuse public anger but the ruling party affirmed its "zero-Covid" strategy.