Dublin City University (DCU) has issued a call for students on a semester abroad in China to return to Ireland amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in many of China’s regions.
DCU students have been advised by the college to return to DCU where they can complete their semester.
In a statement to TheJournal.ie, a DCU spokesperson stated: “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.”
Although there are several DCU students in China for the 2019/2020 academic year, none are currently based in the Hubei region where the virus is thought to have originated.
Trinity has established a working group to monitor the potential of an outbreak of coronavirus in Ireland. The group is set to meet later on Wednesday to discuss the current situation, a spokesperson for College confirmed to Trinity News. The group may take a decision on whether to advise Trinity students in China to return to Ireland.
An email to staff and students from John Coman, the secretary to the college, and Dr David McGrath, the director of the college health service, outlined that the purpose of the working group is “to monitor the situation regarding a potential outbreak of Novel Coronavirus in Ireland”.
Any students or staff returning from affected areas who are exhibiting symptoms have been advised to contact the College Health Service.
Symptoms of the virus include coughing, breathing difficulties, and fever, and in severe cases can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or kidney failure.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has reached over 6,000, with most of these concentrated in China. Elsewhere, cases have been reported in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, France, the United States, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Canada and Germany.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is making preparations to evacuate Irish citizens from the Hubei region if required. It is estimated that there are currently eight Irish citizens in the region.