Two of the biggest universities of the North East have responded to increasing Coronavirus concerns to protect their students and staff members.
Northumbria University currently has around 400 students from mainland China studying at its campuses in Newcastle and London. Less than ten are from Hubei province, which includes Wuhan and Huanggang.
A spokesperson from the university said: “We continue to monitor ongoing guidance from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England in relation to the UK response to the outbreak.”
A spokesperson for the University of Sunderland said: “This week the University has sent a dedicated email to all of our Chinese students with the latest FCO/PHE information as the direction to people who had been to Wuhan in the last 14 days had changed. This was followed up with a text message to encourage students to attend to their email. The University has also been in touch with its Chinese applicants.”
“Students who come from Hubei Province received a dedicated email drawing their attention to the specifics around travel from Wuhan, and giving explicit instruction about what to do if that pertained to their own circumstances. They have also been offered wellbeing advice and guidance and to answer any questions they may have about PHE advice.
“These actions pertain to Sunderland and London campuses. The University’s Hong Kong Campus is closed until mid-February, following guidance from the Hong Kong Government to local universities.”
For all students who have concerns about the Coronavirus, there are wellbeing support services available to found on their campuses.
The virus appeared at the end of 2019 in 11 cities including Wuhan in Hubei province. Chinese media confirmed the number of infected people has increased to more than 7,700 with 170 fatalities and spread to 15 different countries. As of Thursday 13 February 2020, there are currently confirmed nine cases in the UK or of UK citizens abroad. The risk to the public remains low.
You can follow all the updates on the government’s official website.