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Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (“2019-nCoV”/”Covid-19”) in China, the World Health Organization declared an international health emergency at the end of January 2020. While an illness caused by the virus will most likely pass without serious consequences in otherwise healthy people, there is a risk of travellers – and people they come into contact with – becoming carriers of the disease and thus seriously endangering others, particularly those with an already weakened immune system. Important information for Leipzig University staff and students is provided below.

3D-Grafik des 2019-nCoV-Virions

3D representation of Covid-19. Photo: CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM (public domain)

“Many people come together at institutions like a university. Infections can spread quickly from person to person, putting people who have not travelled to an affected region at risk. Since we are responsible for the whole University, we feel we have to react at this point,” said Rector Professor Beate Schücking.

“We now strongly advise all of our university’s staff and students against travelling to China,” added the Rector. This is in line with the reccomendation of the German Federal Foreign Office. “Special precautions, such as wearing face masks in daily life, are not currently necessary at the University or in Leipzig.” More information (in German) is provided by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Information for those travelling to and from China

Students and staff returning from China or who recently spent time in China should be particularly vigilant and contact their doctor immediately in the event of symptoms of illness or contact the Klinikum St. Georg in Leipzig. In such cases, it is vital that you telephone in advance and tell your doctor or the hospital that you were recently in China. If you need to contact the Klinikum St. Georg, please get in touch with its Department for Infectious Diseases by telephoning +49 341 9094005.

If staff cannot postpone a study or business trip to China, they should first contact the occupational health physicians (Mitteldeutsches Institut für Arbeitsmedizin, MIA). A consultation would be held to draw up an individual plan, which would also regulate the traveller’s physical presence at Leipzig University after the trip.

If you are expecting guests from China whose trip cannot be cancelled, please also contact the MIA to plan possible precautions.

Should Chinese students have any further questions (e.g. regarding their right of residence if it is not possible to return to China), they can contact the International Centre by email.