Coronavirus: Sheffield University calls all exchange students back from China

Everyone’s been told to leave

Sheffield University has called all of its exchange students back from China amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The Russell Group institution has told dozens on year abroad in the country’s mainland to return to the UK immediately.

Confirmed cases of the respiratory illness in China have hit 24,300, with 490 deaths.

One of Sheffield’s partner universities is Wuhan, the city of 11m people where the outbreak began.

Others include Nanjing University, Shandong, Sun Yat-Sen, and Tsinghua – popular choices for law students on year abroad. The Foreign Office has also urged the 30,000 Britons currently in the country to come home “if they can”.

Financial assistance for “additional costs incurred” by relocating and support is being offered, Sheffield University said.

A spokesperson added: “The safety and wellbeing of our students at the University of Sheffield is always our top priority and we have contacted all students who are on study abroad in mainland China.

“In line with the latest advice from Public Health England all students currently in China are advised to return to the UK.”

It comes as Sheffield has ordered any students who have returned from China in the last fortnight to enter quarantine.

Bosses emailed dramatic orders to all students yesterday, telling those who are self-isolating to stay in their accommodation, eat in their rooms with their door shut, draw up a bathroom rota, wear face masks indoors, and get groceries dropped outside.

Authorities are desperately trying to stop the two verified coronavirus infections in Britain – one of them a York University student – from spreading.

Sheffield Hallam University has told all China returnees to enter quarantine and call NHS 111 if they notice symptoms, and advised against travelling there or Hong Kong.

In November UoS also called exchange students back from Hong Kong over safety fears prompted by violent pro-democracy clashes.

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Featured image: SWNS/stock photo