A LECTURER has raised concerns about teaching a group of Chinese students at IT Carlow due to the ongoing coronavirus scare, The Nationalist understands. It’s understood the lecturer had expressed issues about teaching a group of students who recently arrived from China.
IT Carlow told The Nationalist that individual staff members who have raised concerns about the coronavirus have received letters detailing the action taken by the institute.
Declan Doyle, vice-president for research and development at the IT, sought to allay concerns by stating that a visiting faculty of students had all been in Ireland for almost three weeks before the spread of the virus.
They are from Zhengzhou in Henan province. None were from Wuhan or its province Hubei, where the virus originated. None of the students had passed through the area on their way to Ireland either, said Mr Doyle, who met the group on Thursday.
The coronavirus has claimed over 360 lives and has infected 17,300 globally as of yesterday (Monday). Only one person outside mainland China has died. There are no cases of the virus in Ireland.
IT Carlow received information and guidelines from the HSE on Wednesday last and circulated the information in English and Chinese to its 200 Chinese students. The information was also shared on the college’s Chinese social media channels.
Mr Doyle said: “We also asked them to let us know if they have been in China since the outbreak commenced. To date and to the best of our knowledge, none of our students went home for Christmas or Chinese New Year.”
The HSE is saying that if anyone has returned from Wuhan in the last two weeks and is experiencing a fever, cough or shortness of breath to contact a healthcare professional or student health services. The HSE says no specific measures are needed if a person has not come from Wuhan or has not been in contact with a person with coronavirus.
The institute has cancelled a proposed Chinese delegation visit and staff visits to China until the virus is contained.
IT Carlow is also supporting its Chinese students who are worried about their family members at home. Counselling services and staff in the international office are available to them.
A local representative for the Teachers’ Union of Ireland declined to comment, as it was an ongoing case.