As a result of the travel ban issued by the Australian government due to the COVID-19 outbreak, international students coming from China, Iran and South Korea have been prevented from entering the country.
CIC Higher Education General Manager Francesca Macpherson has disclosed that some enrolled students who returned to their home country for the Chinese New Year celebrations on 25 January are now unfortunately unable to return to Australia to resume their studies.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt clarifies the decision on the case-by-case easing of the travel ban, “All governments have received advice from medical experts, the chief health and medical officers of all states, territories and the commonwealth.”
As a proactive measure, the Australian Government has offered a $2-million grant opportunity for coronavirus vaccine research.
Keeping the campus safe and protected
“Our priority is to keep our current students and staff safe,” Mrs Macpherson says. “CIC is taking a number of measures to keep students and staff safe. However, the most important component is to communicate with our students both onshore and offshore. Our key message is: if you are feeling unwell please visit your GP. It is better to be safe than sorry.”
The Campus is expecting 20 new students who are due to start their studies on 23 March. Mrs Macpherson hopes that the epidemic will be contained soon to make it safe enough to reopen the Australian border to all students. She and her team will be closely monitoring and looking after students. “CIC will continue to follow recommendations from the World Health Organisation to ensure our Campus remains to be a safe environment,” she adds.
Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, it can be transmitted by touching or having contact with someone or something infected by the virus. As protection against infections in general, it is important to observe the basics of good hygiene. To reiterate the Department of Health’s advice:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If not available, use a hand sanitiser.
- Use a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and go as far away from anyone, if possible.
- Avoid close contact with others, such as touching, shaking hands or sharing personal belongings, for example, your classmate’s books. This may be an extreme example but the key rule is to exercise caution. You can decide how you should go about it.
Using common areas
Since you’re using the elevator to go to your classes, you must also observe proper hygiene. You cannot avoid touching the button to go up or down but you can use a tissue to tap which level and dispose of it into the rubbish bin straightaway.
Regardless of whether COVID-19 is here or not, it is always wise to observe good hygiene especially when you’re frequently exposed to public spaces such as tram, bus or rail stations, dining areas and walkways.
When inside a bus, tram, train or uber, avoid touching anything and anyone. If that’s not possible, make your hand sanitiser your best friend. Use it often.
As Mrs Macpherson says, “It is better to be safe than sorry.”