Lancaster University says "no suspected or confirmed coronavirus cases" on campus


January 24, 2020

Lancaster University says no cases of the killer coronavirus have been reported on campus after claims were made by a student website.

The university put out a statement after an article by The Tab on Friday afternoon which claimed there was a "high risk" of coronavirus at the university.

The Tab said this was because students from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the deadly strain was first detected, were said to have arrived on campus last month.

But Lancaster University said the risk is no greater than anywhere else in the UK.

The Tab also initially claimed - before later editing the article - that there was a reported case on the Lancaster campus of the deadly virus, which has killed 26 people in China.

But a university spokesperson said: "There are no suspected or confirmed cases at the University of Lancaster.

"Neither the NHS or Public Health England have indicated they have information that there may be suspected or confirmed cases amongst the Lancaster staff or students.

"We have no information to suggest the risk here differs from that across the UK more broadly and in keeping with advice we do not currently have quarantine measures in place.

"We are working closely with the authorities and responding to any queries or concerns from students."

Officials are trying to trace up to 2,000 visitors who have flown in to the UK from Wuhan, where the new strain of the virus first broke out and which has been on lockdown since Thursday.

Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said there is a "fair chance" Britain will see cases of the new virus.

Lancaster University said they were monitoring the global situation with the coronavirus and will issue further advice to students and staff as it becomes available from the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and other organisations

“As it is the cold and flu season general advice to students has been to follow the public health guidance and good levels of personal hygiene," said a statement from the university

“We have around 2,300 Chinese students on campus, and there are about 120,385 Chinese students studying at universities in the UK.

This new deadly strain of the virus causes pneumonia, and those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties.