University offers Coronavirus support to Lincoln students and staff

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The University of Lincoln is offering support and guidance to students and staff with connections to China and Wuhan, in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Although there are not yet any confirmed cases in the UK, the deadly virus has killed around 80 people in China at the time of writing and is also understood to have infected nearly 3,000.

There are 44 confirmed cases outside of China.

The University of Lincoln is home to hundreds of international students, including just over 200 from China (according to the Complete University Guide 2017-18).

Students have been advised against any non-essential travel to Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the outbreak, The Lincolnite has been told.

The University of Lincoln will support students when needed and it also said the Student Union’s celebrations for the Chinese Lunar New Year will still go ahead as planned.

A University of Lincoln spokesperson said: “Currently there are no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the UK and the risk to the UK population has been assessed as low by Public Health England.

“The University of Lincoln has informed students and staff that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against any non-essential travel to Wuhan.

“We have advised that if there are any staff or students who have recently returned from Wuhan and who are experiencing flu like symptoms, they should contact their GP as per the Public Health England guidance.

“Celebrations for the Chinese Lunar New Year which have been organised by our Students’ Union are planned to go ahead.

“Our Student Wellbeing and International teams are both on hand to support students if needed.”

According to reports, China’s National Health Commission minister Ma Xiaowei said the incubation period for the virus can range from one to 14 days and is infectious during this time.

The virus is likely to already be in the UK according to Dr Yvonne Doyle, England’s director for health protection, who told Sky News: “The most likely place that we’re going to find a case is someone who is in the country already.”

When asked if there could be cases already in Britain, she said: “I would expect so.”

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed it is taking advise from Public Health England about the virus.

Public Health England previously said it is carefully monitoring the situation in Wuhan and is ready to in place proportionate, precautionary measures. This includes enhanced monitoring from all flights from Wuhan to the UK.

The Chinese government has extended the Lunar New Year holiday by three days to next Sunday in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. Several Chinese cities have also imposed significant travel restrictions.

Click here for the latest information and advice from Public Health England.

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