UTM cancels programmes in China for the time being

JOHOR BARU: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has stopped all activities including trips involving its staff members and students to China following the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

Its vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Wahid Omar said that this was part of the university’s preventive measures in ensuring the health of more than 30,000 students and staff members as well as neighbouring communities within its Skudai and Kuala Lumpur campuses.

“China is a good market for UTM and we have many programmes over there as we have forged a close working relationship with top Chinese universities.

“However, after taking into consideration over what has happened within the last few days and to be safe, we are stopping our programmes in China for the time being,” he said in an interview at UTM Skudai campus here yesterday.

He said the university has 399 Chinese students pursuing their tertiary education at its two campuses.

He added 112 of them were new students who have already registered for the new semester.

“We have made it compulsory for all of our students from China, including our foreign students who returned from China, to undergo health screening at our UTM health centre.

“This means, the students will have to go through three layers of health screening – one starting in China, one at our country’s checkpoints and at UTM,” he said.

He said the students would be placed under home surveillance for 14 days when they arrive at UTM, where they will be closely monitored by 61 healthcare workers to ensure that there are no threat or health risk.

Prof Wahid said the university would provide the necessary facility for the affected students.

“We are working closely with the state Health Department. We have also received cooperation from the university’s Chinese students’ body and also from the Chinese Embassy,” he added.

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