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Ireland DCU bringing students back from China to Ireland due to coronavirus fears

23:56  30 january  2020
23:56  30 january  2020 Source:   thejournal.ie

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A DUBLIN UNIVERSITY has asked its students based in China to return to Ireland due to the spread of the coronavirus . As a result of the rapidly evolving situation in China , DCU is advising all our students as of this morning to return to Ireland to complete semester two back in DCU and we are

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A DUBLIN UNIVERSITY has asked its students based in China to return to Ireland due to the spread of the coronavirus.

DCU has a number of students that are based in China for the 2019/2020 academic year, though none are based in the Hubei region which is at the centre of the virus.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, the university said:

As a result of the rapidly evolving situation in China, DCU is advising all our students as of this morning to return to Ireland to complete semester two back in DCU and we are making all appropriate arrangements to facilitate this.

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Sydney schools ask students returning from China to stay away amid coronavirus fears . Singapore urged citizens to avoid non-essential travel to China , and said students and staff who had recently travelled to the country should stay at home for two weeks.

A small number of staff and students have visited China in the past month, though again none of them were in the Hubei region.

“As a precaution, all of these individuals have been advised of current WHO coronavirus guidelines. None of them have reported any symptoms,” said the statement.

Caution

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised people to exercise a high degree of caution in visiting the country. 

It has warned travellers against visiting the province of Hubei. More details can be found on its website.

TheJournal.ie contacted a number of other universities and colleges about the issue. 

Third-level institutions including Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin issued warnings to their students about the virus in recent days. 

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Several Chinese cities have imposed significant travel restrictions. Wuhan in Hubei, the source of the outbreak, is in effective lockdown. People with Sars (the last deadly coronavirus outbreak to hit China ) and Ebola are contagious only when symptoms appear.

University College Cork said:

“UCC is monitoring the recommendations from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre on a daily basis, and is acting on these recommendations as they emerge. Following the advice outlined by the Department of Foreign Affairs, UCC has advised its students to expect potential delays and checks when entering or leaving China.

“Students have also been advised to exercise the general precautions to limit the spread of any respiratory virus infection and to contact student health or their local health provider if they feel unwell.”

A spokesperson for TU Dublin said there has been no instance of students cancelling trips to China. 

“TU Dublin has contacted students currently in China and students who recently returned from China to advise them about the Coronavirus based on the information available,” the spokesperson said.

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The coronavirus has killed at least 56 people and infected almost 2,000 since its discovery in the city of Wuhan. Scientists at the respected MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis in the UK have warned that it may not be possible to contain the virus to China .

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“The University recommended that any student who was in the Hubei Province in recent weeks, or in contact with someone who may have contracted the virus, should make themselves known to the Student Health Centre for further advice.”

Some students were given information about symptoms of the virus and further details from the HSE. 

Trinity College Dublin said it has set up an expert working group to monitor the situation regarding a potential outbreak of novel coronavirus in Ireland and to develop a plan of action for the university should the need arise.

The working group first met on Monday, 27 January 2020.

In a statement it said:

An email has been sent to all students and staff outlining the common signs of infection and the standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection. Advice for those who may have returned from high-risk areas of China are outlined, along with web links to both the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for guidance and guidelines on symptoms and travel.

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The working group will meet regularly, including again this week to closely monitor any developments.

The university said that: “The health and well-being of our students and staff is paramount and we will continue to monitor the situation over the coming days and weeks. Further updates will be provided as the situation develops.”

Yesterday, Germany confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, with the patient being in Starnberg, south of Munich. He is medically isolated. 

Nearly all of the dozens of cases outside China involve people who recently travelled from the central city of Wuhan where the outbreak began in December. 

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