Czech Universities Advise Against Travel to China Due To Coronavirus

Universities in the Czech Republic have rescheduled the arrivals of Chinese students and academics studying at Czech universities due to the threat of coronavirus infection. At the request of public health experts, some Prague schools have already placed students or teachers travelling from China under 14-day quarantine. Photo: KK / Brno Daily.

Brno, Feb 13 (BD) – Brno universities are also following this trend. Masaryk University, the biggest in Brno, announced the cancellation of the arrival of Chinese students on February 7th. “We are monitoring and evaluating the situation on an ongoing basis. Precaution and risk minimization has led us to postpone the arrival of students from Hong Kong for preventive reasons,” said spokeswoman Tereza Fojtová. The preventive measures also apply to academics.

Chinese students who should have arrived on February 15th were informed about the decision. According to the university’s official online magazine, students who had already landed at Prague Airport were instructed to report to the airport’s emergency department immediately with a request for preventive examination.

Students who arrived earlier will not join others during orientation activities and they will not participate in classes for two weeks. They have also been advised to pay increased attention to their health condition. Preventive steps were also taken in student dormitories, where space has been set aside for the potential isolation of anyone suspected of being infected.

A few days earlier the Masaryk University Centre for International Cooperation called on MUNI students in China to return home or postpone travel to China in the Spring semester of 2020. 

Brno University of Technology also does not recommend that students travel to China in the coming days or consider traveling to the country for study stays or internships in the upcoming summer semester 2019/2020. The universities are also offering financial assistance for students related to any financial complications caused by sudden cancellation of their stay in China.

Other Brno universities also published warnings and instructions from the Czech Ministry of Health.

On February 9th, the government approved a ban on direct flights between China and the Czech Republic due to the spread of a new type of coronavirus, 2019-nCoV. Of the 72 people tested so far in the Czech Republic, none were infected with the new strain of coronavirus, according to Health Minister Adam Vojtěch, writing on Twitter.

However, panic has been growing among the Czech public in recent days. Facial masks sold out almost immediately following reports in Czech media about the virus. Specialists have questioned their effectiveness as prevention, but a Brno firm is now working on special masks that could capture and kill the coronavirus.

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