Trinity coronavirus working group recommends students return from China

Students unable to return have been advised to contact their tutor

College’s working group charged with monitoring the coronavirus has advised that students and staff in China return to Trinity in light of the ongoing spread of the virus.

In an email to staff and students on Thursday afternoon, College advised: “As regards Trinity staff or students who are in China at present, Trinity recommends that those staff or students return to Ireland, subject to any travel restrictions which may be in place in China.”

The email, which contained a Chinese translation, recommended that any students who are unable to return to Ireland contact their tutor or the Senior Tutor’s office, while staff who are unable to return have been guided to contact their line manager.

Trinity offers non-EU exchanges for students in five institutions in China, including Beihang University, Peking University, Tsinghua University, University Nottingham Ningbo China, and Yi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. None of the universities are located in the Hubei region, where the virus is thought to have originated.

Trinity’s working group, which was established to monitor the potential of an outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus in Ireland, met yesterday to discuss the current situation.

The group has advised that no specific measures are required for students returning from areas other than Wuhan in the Hubei province, who have not been in contact with a person with novel coronavirus, and who have not been to a healthcare facility where novel coronavirus patients are being treated.

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.

“For a person with no symptoms, there is no need for quarantine (keeping a well person separate from others) for up to 2 weeks after coming to Ireland. There are no restrictions regarding work or other activities,” the group advised.

The statement continued to advise that individuals make contact with their local Department of Public Health by phone “if within the last 14 days, you have come to Ireland from Wuhan or have been in contact with a person diagnosed with novel coronavirus or have attended a healthcare facility where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated”.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has reached over 7,500, 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.

Dublin City University (DCU) has also issued guidance to students studying abroad in China to return to Ireland amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in many of China’s regions.  Although there are several DCU students in China for the 2019/2020 academic year, none are currently based in the Hubei region.

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.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland was the Editor of the 67th volume of Trinity News. She is an English Literature and Sociology graduate and previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.