There are currently five UT students following a study programme in China, informs UT spokesperson Bertyl Lankhaar. ‘The students are located in Shanghai, Chengdu and Beijing. The university is in close contact with them. For everyone who travels abroad, we advise to follow the travel advice of the Dutch National Coordination Centre for Travellers (LCR), the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Health Organization (WHO). Moreover, keep informed during your stay abroad, for example via the government websites at the bottom of this message. The RIVM monitors the situation for the Netherlands and provides advice.’
The advice of the Dutch government can be found here.
The coronavirus outbreak began in the city of Wuhan, China. The UT has collaborated with the Wuhan University in the past, but according to the UT China representative Chang Zheng there are currently no UT researchers or students who are in Wuhan or who are scheduled to travel there soon. However, as Zheng warns, there might individuals on private trips or Chinese students coming back home for Spring Festival holidays, who the UT is unaware of.
Earlier this month, Zheng has already sent a warning message to his contact points at the UT to explain the coronavirus situation in China. In the following message, he suggested that all UT people should postpone their China visit to a later stage.
‘As the new coronavirus is expected to spread in China in the coming months, besides Wuhan which has issued a temporary lockdown regulation without expiration date, more cities also followed with some similar regulation from time to time,’ writes Zheng. ‘In the meanwhile, most Chinese universities have also announced the vacation extension, staffs are encouraged to work at home. Under such circumstances, if UT/ITC might have China visit plan in 2020, I would suggest that the participants consider to postpone the visit schedule after Spring 2020 at least, wait until the situation becomes clear.’