Employees who are currently located in China are asked to leave the country. The university offers to facilitate them in leaving the country. Students in China are not called upon to leave the country, but they’re offered help if they wish to leave China. As far as is known, according to a spokesperson for the Executive Board, there are no EUR students or staff in China right now.

The travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was tightened on Thursday afternoon. Their travel advice regarding China is to not go there, unless it’s necessary, and regarding the province of Hubei – of which Wuhan is a part – the advice is to not go there at all.

Students from China are still welcome

Incoming students from China remain ‘welcome for the time being’, at this moment there are 36 students from China in Rotterdam. “We do advise all students and staff who have recently been to Wuhan or Hubei province, or who have been in close contact with people from Wuhan or Hubei province who show symptoms of illness, to contact their doctor right away.”

On Thursday afternoon, Hogeschool Rotterdam (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences) prohibited ‘traveling to China in the context of an internship, study or working visit’ for all employees and students of the university. This measure was applied directly and indefinitely.

On Thursday evening, the coronavirus was declared as an international threat to public health by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The organisation has mainly done this to ‘protect countries with weaker health care’. UN Chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the outbreak and emergence of the virus ‘unprecedented’.

No employees or students from Wuhan

The coronavirus originated on a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. According to the Chinese Health Committee this morning, at least 9,692 people have been infected with the virus in China, of which 213 died. The WHO reported yesterday that 82 people in 18 countries outside of China are infected with the virus, including France and Germany.

Earlier, the university announced that there are no direct links between the EUR and Wuhan, even though Wuhan University is a partner university. “There are currently no students or employees from Wuhan in Rotterdam, or students or employees from Rotterdam in Wuhan,” said a spokesperson.

The fact that employees are prohibited and students are discouraged from traveling to China is based on a legal reason, says the spokesperson. “At this moment, there are no students going on an exchange to China, but we cannot forbid them to go on family visits. On the other hand, we can legally do that with employees.”

Correction 12-2 In an earlier version of this article it seemed as if there are currently 36 students from China at Erasmus University. That is not true, it concerns 36 Chinese students who came to the university during this exchange period (end of January, beginning of February). A remark by the university spokesperson that there are currently no students or staff from Wuhan in Rotterdam was also incorrect. The spokesperson meant that no employees or students traveled to or from Wuhan since the outbreak of the virus.