British universities move to help prevent spread of coronavirus

  • Coronavirus has taken over Chinese New Year's Eve
  • Thousands of students too worried to fly home from the UK to celebrate with their families 
  • The number of infected rises all over the world
  • Joint reporting with Fanshawe College


There are currently 132 people killed and over 6,000 infected because of coronavirus and the disease – which originates in the Chinese city of Wuhan – is dangerously spreading overseas.

While most of the victims are in China, there are cases all over the world, including Europe. The closest to the UK is France and Germany, each of them with four people infected. 


British Airways have suspended all flights to China leaving Chinese students in the UK without an option to fly home . 

One of the biggest Chinese communities in England is based in Manchester, with the University of Manchester having the largest population of Chinese students in Europe. The timing of the virus at Chinese New Year has added a new dimension to the spread of the virus.

The favourite annual festivity of China is the a big time for family reunions. However, this year a lot of them were afraid to travel to their home country because of the virus.

Three Chinese students all based in different British cities say the universities in the UK should take the situation more seriously:

A number of universities in the UK have taken action to prevent the illness, such as putting incoming students from China into quarantine.

Manchester Metropolitan University press officer Dominic Smith said: “Our people are our top priority at all times. We have four colleagues based in Wuhan and we are in regular contact with them every day.

“Working with our partners in China and the UK, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and offer our support. We will follow the advice given by the Government and Public Health England.”

The NHS advises travellers returning from China to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, as well as call NHS 111 to tell them of their recent travels.

Read about how the coronovirus is affecting Canada, with a special report from our student colleaues at Fanshawe College