Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak information- Latest update for international students

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The Philippines recorded the first casualty outside China on account of the Pandemic - Covid 19 CoronaVirus on January 30, 2020. Following this, the human-to-human transmission had put the nation under high alert on March 06; hence the Philippines government declared a health emergency on March 09, following a spike in new confirmed cases.

While this situation prevails, The COVID-19 CoronaVirus Code Alert system was revised to Red - Sublevel 2 on March 12. Consequently, Metro Manila lockdown was amended on March 12, remains locked until April 14, and could be extended based on the scenario. During this lockdown:

  • Domestic transportation of all modes is suspended.
  • Residents aren’t allowed to step out of their home in case of emergencies.
  • Educational institutes are shut down until April 12.

We predominantly see how the Philippine government is taking measures to safeguard students by shutting down their academic institutions. But there are a lot more Filipinos pursuing their higher studies in countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, and the UK. 

As much as AECC Global Philippines cares about the educational goals of Filipino students, we are concerned about the safety & security of each student studying in a foreign land. Hence, to keep students, parents, and their peers updated about the status of coronavirus, we have compiled the latest update of coronavirus in this blog (country-wise) to help students studying across the globe and their peers in the Philippines.

CoronaVirus (Covid19) - Guidelines for International Students studying in Australia

Remedial measures:

Having declared this pandemic as a “human biosecurity emergency” and imposing the level 4 travel ban, the country has taken multiple remedial measures which includes:

  • Australia’s borders were closed except for Australian citizens and residents effective from 20 March 2020. 
  • Anyone coming to Western Australia from overseas were asked to self-isolate for 2 weeks.
  • A nationwide lockdown was amended on March 22.

University responses:

Australian Universities and private institutions are jointly taking measures to pause traditional teaching methods and practice online teaching till nationwide lockdown. The University of Melbourne has announced that teaching, assessment, learning, and examinations will go virtually from March 30 to ensure students cope with their academics.

 Travel bans :

  • The Australian Government announced the level 4  travel ban for Australia- Do not travel, that means all Australians irrespective of destination, age or health are not allowed to travel this time.
  • Any Australians who wish to return home from overseas should do so immediately.
  • All non-essential interstate travel are prohibited

Social distancing:

The following facilities are shut down by the Australian Government from March 23 to practice social distancing, which includes:

  • Pubs and hotel bars 
  • Indoor sporting venues 
  • entertainment venues, night clubs, and casinos.
  • Cultural institutions and libraries. 

CoronaVirus (Covid19) - Guidelines for International Students studying in Canada

Remedial measures:

  • Acting upon the crisis with stringent rules right from the travel ban to lockdown, The Government of Canada has also taken the initiative to spend $50 million towards purchasing the personal protective equipment (PPE) and necessary medical equipment to cope with the ongoing crisis.

  • To aid Canadians students across the globe to return home without any hindrance, the Government has created the Coronavirus- COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for students studying abroad.

University responses:

Since the lockdown situation is in effect, educational institutions are mainly concerned about the safety of both domestic & international students. As a result, exams, course assignments and other forms of assessment are suspended until 30th March. 

Based on the institution's priority, online classes will be the teaching methods to students till March 30. The goal is to ensure international students safety and enable students to adhere to their academic terms remotely.

Travel Bans:

  • Any international citizen entering Canada should self-isolate for 14 days (upon entry). If someone is travelling by air, the self-isolation request will be clearly communicated on Flight tickets.
  • If a traveller shows COVID-19 (Coronavirus) symptoms, the airline will ban the passenger from travelling for a period of 2 weeks, or until a health certificate is presented that confirms the person does not carry the coronavirus.

Social distancing:

  • Everyone should stay inside their home except to pick up groceries.
  • No mass gatherings 
  • Someone who walks has to maintain 2 metres distance from another person.
  • No sporting activities, and other forms of physical contact such as shaking hands and letting people pet your dog are prohibited 

CoronaVirus (Covid19) - Guidelines for International Students studying in New Zealand

Remedial measures:

  • New Zealand is currently under Level 4 alert of Covid 19 coronavirus, nationwide. Since the virus transmission rate is still not under control, the country has amended lockdown for 4 consecutive weeks and it could be extended based on the virus transmission in further days.
  • The government is constantly in charge of enabling the necessities to citizens to cope with the lockdown situation.
  • Ensuring mandatory medical checkups happen to every individual across the country when required.

University responses:

All the government and private educational institutions concerned for the international students’ safety, and to equip them for semesters, have taken up online mediums to resume teaching virtually. The initiative was taken by the University of Wellington, the University of Auckland, and the University of Waikato. 

This practice will continue until the government officially announces that international students can travel back to their respective home countries. 

Travel Bans:

  • The New Zealand Government has tightened travel restrictions, closed all borders from March 19, 2020.
  • New Zealand citizens, residents & permanent residents with valid travel conditions and their family can still travel to New Zealand
  • No other foreign travellers can enter New Zealand. Returning citizens and residents must isolate themselves for 2 weeks upon arrival.

Social distancing:

  • No social gatherings
  • Should stay at home - exemptions for medical travel
  • Mandatory to maintain a distance of six feet or two metres between two individuals.

CoronaVirus (Covid19) - Guidelines for International Students studying in the USA

Remedial measures:

As we are aware, the US is one of the severely affected countries by the coronavirus, and the transmission rate keeps rising every day. Due to this scenario, the US Government has mandated lockdown nationwide until March 30th. Based on the coronavirus transmission rate, this lockdown period may prolong. Being proactive, the government has announced several remedial measures, which includes:

  •  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is studying the virus and helping to respond locally.
  •  The Department of Energy is vigorously researching COVID-19 at their National research Labs.
  • The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) - Department of Health and Human Services is developing the new medical treatments for CoronaVirus. 
  • The Department of Homeland Security is facilitating the government in confronting COVID-19, to ensure the safety of  Americans, and help slow down the spread of the virus. 

University responses:

The Universities and other educational universities across the United States of America have announced the closure of their campuses and send as many students as possible to their native country due to the increase in numbers of COVID-19 virus transmission in the country. The classes are tentatively taken by the professors via online mediums to ensure there is no hindrance to students taking up their semesters. 

Harvard University being the first university to confirm a case with coronavirus, was among the earliest to ask all domestic and international students to move out of the university on March 15. The students of Stanford, Princeton, and MIT are also asked international students to return home if their home country is currently permitting air service into their boundary.

Travel Bans:

  •  Permanent residents who have been in a high-risk area (China, Iran, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and the UK, and European Union Countries) must fly into one of the 13 international airports with enhanced entry screening capabilities.
  • The country’s northern border with Canada is closed. Hence, travelling to and fro is prohibited.

Social distancing:

  • Self-quarantining is advised by the government

 Sports events, festivals, cruises, and other large gathering are being cancelled

Coronavirus (Covid19) - Guidelines for International Students studying in the UK

Remedial measures:

With the rate of Covid-19 increasing across the country, the UK government has announced a complete lockdown on March 24, which includes the closure of all academic institutions (schools, government & private colleges, entertainment zones and sporting events.

  • The Government is closely working with the WHO to keep the whole of the UK people on a safer side.
  • The UK Government has taken a 4-phased approach to tackle the coronavirus: to contain, delay, mitigate, and research.

University responses:

The Universities in the UK have suspended formal teaching methods and online modes for their courses, assessment, and exams. In addition to this, all the academic events, course-related field trips, and graduation ceremonies scheduled for March & May have been postponed by the institutions.

Travel Bans:

  • The UK government has strictly enforced travel rules for people travelling outside the UK and for the people travelling to the UK.
  • Concerning the UK citizens across the globe, the UK government, via the Foreign Travel Advisory, has announced to its citizens that “you are strongly advised to return now.”
  •  For other nationals who are currently residing in the UK, if their visa date gets expired, it can be extended to 31 May 2020 on account of self-isolation requirements or travel restrictions related to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Social distancing:

  • Someone with symptoms of COVID-19 should undertake self-isolation for a minimum of 14 days
  • Everyone should practice social distancing such as avoiding unnecessary travel & should work from home. 
  • The vulnerable groups, as prescribed by the WHO,  must avoid social contact for around 12 weeks. 
  • Mass gatherings, such as sporting events and alumni meets are prohibited.

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