Saturday 4 July, 2020

UWI activates coronavirus response for 28 students, admin in China

The University of the West Indies (UWI) says it is working closely with the Institute of Software Technology (GIST) and other relevant authorities in China, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its staff and students. It added that it is also engaging global precautionary measures as well as the positions adopted by its stakeholder governments in relation to travel advisories and screening protocols. 

All this, as 28 students and one administrator are currently in the city of Suzhou during the inter-semester break.

“The UWI leadership is in regular contact with GIST and is receiving situation reports. The University has also held meetings with the students and communicated directly with parents and guardians.  The next meeting with parents and guardians is planned for Friday, January 31.”

Suzhou is not within the epicentre of the virus. However, the GIST campus remains closed until February 23 when the new semester is expected to begin.

The UWI said there is continuous on-site support on the campus. Medical and screening protocols have also been established. 

36 students are currently enrolled in a BSc Software Engineering programme at the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology (UWICIIT) which allows for two years of study at the GIST.

Meanwhile, the University noted that it is collaborating with regional entities and agencies including the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), CARICOM Secretariat, Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs and others in the regional management and response strategy. 

It has also convened a group of experts to examine the issues and help inform decision-making.   

On Thursday, The UWI will host a Vice-Chancellor’s Forum which will offer informed analysis and perspectives.  The forum’s programme will include remarks from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and feature UWI health experts along with Dr Joy St John, CARPHA’s Executive Director. It begins at 1 pm (Jamaica)/2 pm (Eastern Caribbean) at The UWI Regional Headquarters and will be carried live on UWItv’s cable television channel and live-streamed on www.uwitv.org.

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