UNITED STATES – Harvard University has asked students to move out of their dorms in five days following coronavirus outbreak.
Also others on Spring break have been asked not to return back due to novel coronavirus outbreak spreading in europe and other countries outside of China.
So far, Italy has recorded 631 deaths from COVID-19 outbreak which has worsened in the past few days.
Most airlines in europe have placed travel ban to Italy till further notice even as Italy declared national lockdown.
Coronavirus outbreak which began in Wuhan, China has spread to more than 50 countries with Africa having least numbers of positive cases.
The university spokeswoman Rachael Dane confirmed the new development to CNN, saying: “Harvard College students have been asked to move out of their Houses and First-Year Dorms by Sunday, March 15, in an effort to de-densify our community.”
Dane added that henceforth all academic courses will continue to be held remotely, while meetings on campus after March 23 will be virtual.
Harvard President, Lawrence Bacow in a statement also disclosed the new academic plans for students.
The statement read: “Dear Members of the Harvard Community, I have been intently following reports of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and considering the many ways in which its future course might alter my life and the lives of those closest to me.
“These past few weeks have been a powerful reminder of just how connected we are to one another—and how our choices today determine our options tomorrow.
” I write today to update you on major near-term changes that will limit exposure to the disease among members of our community: We will begin transitioning to virtual instruction for graduate and undergraduate classes. Our goal is to have this transition complete by Monday, March 23, which is the first day of scheduled classes following Spring Recess.
“Students are asked not to return to campus after Spring Recess and to meet academic requirements remotely until further notice. Students who need to remain on campus will also receive instructions remotely and must prepare for severely limited on-campus activities and interactions.
“All graduate students will transition to remote work wherever possible. Schools will communicate more specific guidance and information, and we encourage everyone to review previous guidance about both international and domestic travel.
He added that the new guidelines were taking following recommendations of health officials on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.