Sheffield Uni orders students returning from China into quarantine over coronavirus

‘Stay in your flat’

Students at the University of Sheffield have been ordered to go into quarantine if they have recently returned from China as fears mount over coronavirus hitting the UK.

The institution has told anyone who visited Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak, in the last fortnight to stay in their accommodation and isolate themselves for 14 days.

If students show symptoms of the flu-like respiratory virus, they must stay quarantined and call NHS 111 rather than visiting a doctor’s surgery, the university said.

It comes as the coronavirus death toll hit 100 on Tuesday, with more than 4,500 cases confirmed worldwide. There are no verified cases yet in Britain.

In an email to all students this evening, the university wrote: “As a precaution, the UK Health Secretary advice is that anyone who has returned to the UK from Wuhan should keep themselves isolated for a period of 14 days from the date of leaving China, even if they do not display any symptoms.

“We are therefore asking any students who have recently returned from Wuhan to follow this advice. This means remaining in your accommodation and limiting your contact with others.”

“If you have returned from Wuhan or an affected area in the last 14 days and develop respiratory symptoms, you should continue to isolate yourself and call the free medical helpline NHS 111 (dial 111), mentioning your recent travel to the city.

“To avoid possible spread of the virus, you should not go to seek medical advice in person. The NHS will advise you what to do next.”

It adds that any students stuck in Chinese cities, which have gone into lockdown in a desperate attempt to contain the virus, and those quarantined in Sheffield should apply for extenuating circumstances or ring Central Welfare and Guidance (CWAG) on 0114 222 4321.

Sheffield is home to around 8,000 Chinese students, some of whom returned to China for Luna New Year celebrations at the weekend.

The university previously warned students not to skip exams and classes over coronavirus, but tonight marks a drastic ramping up of measures to fend off the deadly illness as the Foreign Office warned against “all but essential travel” to the country.

Chester University told students last week that if they visit China they will not be allowed on campus without “suitable quarantine period”.

Nottingham University has delayed the start of the new term at its Ningbo campus in China, and is taking the temperatures of all visitors.

Panic broke out at Birmingham University earlier today after paramedics in hazmat suits escorted a man from his home near campus.

Featured image: SWNS