On May 26, the topic “Shanghai University of Transport and Communications Ph.D. student plays with the cat without wearing gloves” was on the top search lists on China’s Baidu and Sina Weibo. The student researcher was criticized, and the school council discarded his award. How the school dealt with the situation made Chinese netizens explosive; most comments said: “Too much, too much, turn curves into straight” and “Lan zheng.” Lan Zheng refers to a “lazy government” with overly crude action conducted by government employees or government officials when dealing with related issues.

On the 25th, the anti-epidemic group of the Xuhui area of​​ Shanghai Jiaotong University issued an announcement. It said on the afternoon of May 22, Ph.D. Doctoral student Meng of the Antai School of Economics and Management used grass to play with a stray cat in the Xuhui area without wearing safety gloves, “this brings negative impact and risks against the anti-covid attempts.” But the announcement did not give details on how damaging the impact was.

According to the announcement, the school has sent a circular criticizing Meng and canceled his status for this year’s award evaluation. Furthermore, if Meng’s violation causes adverse consequences, the school will “sternly hold him accountable.”

According to  China Youth Daily, the relevant person in charge of the Shanghai University of Transport and Communications confirmed that the report’s content was authentic.

The Shanghai University of Transport and Communications told The Paper more than a dozen students in the school were injured while playing with cats and dogs during the epidemic. That is why the school issued the related regulations and requirements.

The Shanghai University of Transport and Communications announcement sparked protests from mainland netizens, such as: “Meng was also not injured, such punishment is too severe,” and “That’s too arbitrary.” 

Epoch Times has compiled several comments of Chinese network users on Weibo as follows:

  • Netizen “Yergacheffe Hero,” said, “People are angry because the severity of the punishment doesn’t match those mistakes. There’s no need to give much explanations. It basically is not a mistake, only a little “trouble” and “difficultty in coordination.” Do you really think it’s reasonable to add punishment by critical reporting? Isn’t this a kind of Lan Zheng leadership?” 
  • Net user “ConnIe-yyyst,” said, “This punishment is too counter-intellectual. The final sentence is to be responsible according to the law. Killing a feral cat is breaking what kind of law? While killing a cat is not against the law, but playing with cats is against the law?”
  • Netizen “SaKuKu,” said, “Epidemic prevention will at some point become an excuse to punish everyone. You can punish them any way you want.”
  • “Landeweerd,” said, “It is shameless to be called a strange capital, either insufficient disease prevention or excessive disease prevention.”

Since the outbreak of a new epidemic in Shanghai, much chaos in Covid prevention and control has appeared.

According to Radio Free Asia, in April, Fudan University in Shanghai installed a screen outside the bathroom door of a female dormitory, drawing criticism from students. However, the school believes that this is a move to prevent disease.

According to the Epoch Times, in May, people from several communities in Shanghai were made to spray disinfectant all over their bodies, including some medical staff and even their family members, who were asked not to go out.

At the beginning of May, a 12-year-old boy in Shanghai was released from a typical square-shaped temporary isolation known as Fangcang. However, people protested against letting him in. They feared that the boy would develop a recurrent infection, and the community would be closed for longer. The boy was forced to stay in a hotel for seven days before returning home.

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