Update Novel Corona Virus for Students and Staff at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences (02022020 )

Introduction by Peter Birdsall, President of Wittenborg

Wittenborg is taking the current concerns about the Novel Corona Virus extremely seriously and wishes to ensure all its students and staff that it is monitoring the situation on a day-to-day, and if necessary on an hour-to-hour basis. There is a focus on China, at this moment. This may change.

Of our 1000 students, approximately 10% are Chinese and as is custom every year some students return home to their families in China for Lunar New year. 2020 was no exception and Wittenborg has students who are currently in China, some are returning back to the Netherlands, others are not able to do so, due to restrictions.

Wittenborg is taking all possible measures to gain contact with all its Chinese students and support them where possible. Moral support is extremely necessary, as this Coronavirus is not a 'Chinese problem' however a global risk and a global problem.

China is however currently confronted with the task of controlling the outbreak. This may change, if other countries develop outbreaks, and it is important for us to always keep in perspective that when it comes to illness, disease and health; these are a responsibility for all nations and all mankind, and it is our duty to support each-other.

Many students and staff at Wittenborg will be worried about the well being of loved ones, parents, grandparents and other family members. Let us be shining examples of good global citizens and give our support where needed.

Finally, I would like to warn against so-called 'fake news' please refer to the official Dutch sites of the ministries, the BBC News website or app, and for latest official figures: this site

Update Novel CoronaVirus in The Netherlands (02022020)

Update Novel CoronaVirus in The Netherlands (02022020)Today, there are no known cases of persons infected with the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) in the Netherlands. Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences follows the recommendations of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, RIVM) and follows the information from comparable institutes abroad.

Last week, on January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of the virus an international emergency. This has no influence on the policy of Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences.

Travel restrictions have been imposed in China in areas where the virus is common. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has adjusted travel advice for China: for the province of Hubei, in which the city of Wuhan is located, code red (“not traveling”) applies, for the rest of China code orange applies (“only necessary travel”). WUAS therefore recommends all students not to travel to China at this time, unless absolutely necessary. Staff will not be permitted to travel to China for WUAS at this time, and strongly advises against all travel to China, unless urgent.

For the time being, there are no travel restrictions outside of China and no special measures are being taken.

It is, however, advised to take everyday preventive measures to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses (viruses that cause infections on the respiratory tract). These measures are:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing;
  • Wash or disinfect your hands after coughing or sneezing;
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available;
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces;
  • Stay home if you are sick;

If you have been in China for the last 14 days or have been in contact with a proven 2019-nCoV patient and you feel sick with fever, coughing or breathing problems, the advice is:

  • Stay home, don't travel if you are sick;
  • Seek medical help. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell about your recent trip and your symptoms;
  • Avoid contact with others;
  • Do not travel if you are sick;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
  • Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing;
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available;

Questions and answers

To answer the various questions, a number of frequently asked questions and answers are given below. These will be adjusted when RIVM or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs adjust their advice. You can send additional questions to safety-issues@wittenborg.eu, we may add these to the FAQ.

Do I have to worry about contact with students or employees who have just arrived from China? Is there a need to quarantine them?

You don't have to worry. This situation does, however, underline the importance of the introduction day briefings that we have always given to incoming students, every block. It is important that all students know where to report if they are sick. There is now no reason to quarantine people.

The only exception are EU citizens who are picked up by or on behalf of the European Union from Hubei province. However, the measures are imposed on them by the government and no university staff are involved.

Some incoming students have been instructed in China to quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands, or have they understood this?

No people are placed in quarantine in the Netherlands, except the aforementioned EU citizens who are picked up from Hubei.

Do students and staff who have recently been to Hubei or China should report somewhere or have themselves tested?

No. There is no question of testing and there is no reporting obligation for travellers from China. If someone feels very sick and feverish, they call the doctor at the general practice.

Can students and staff continue their travel plans to China?

Traveling to China was already discouraged, now the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also been adjusted. The travel advice to China is: Negative: https://www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl/landen/china/reizen/reisadvies

Does Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences have contact with its students in China?

Wittenborg is in contact with our students China and assisting them as much as is possible.

Are students who have to come back or arrived in the Netherlands helped with this situation by Wittenborg?

Our ChinaDesk (chinadesk@wittenborg.eu)Team and Registrar's Office are in contact with all students and will provide the appropriate support.

In the case of EMERGENCY, send an email to chinadesk@wittenborg.eu - this email address is monitored 24/7.

WUP 02/02/2020

by James Wittenborg

©Wittenborg University Press