Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) statement

The University of Melbourne is closely monitoring the circumstances around the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak and is supporting students and staff. The situation is constantly evolving.

So far, there have been no confirmed cases within the University community and the University continues to operate as normal.

The University follows the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which is consistent with the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer’s advice, and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) around the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Can I attend the University?

The Australian Government Department of Health Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advises that: “We should take a highly precautionary approach and is making the following new recommendations:

  • People who have been in contact with any confirmed novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases must be isolated in their home for 14 days following exposure;
  • Returned travellers who have been in Hubei Province of China must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province, other than for seeking individual medical care.

The AHPPC says: “Given the lower number of cases in China reported outside of Hubei province, we do not currently recommend self-isolation for travellers from other parts of China or other countries. We are closely monitoring the development of cases outside of Hubei province and will update this advice if necessary.”

If you are feeling unwell

Symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

The Australian Government Department of Health has advised that individuals experiencing symptoms and/or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), or recently returned from the Hubei Province in China should contact their GP, the University’s Health Service or a hospital emergency department. You must call ahead and advise the medical service of your symptoms.

The University will consider special arrangements for students and staff who are affected by the outbreak.

The University continues to follow DFAT advice in relation to travel, which has been escalated to Level 3 for China, and asks staff and students to follow University policy accordingly. Check DFAT information and advice before travelling.

Scientists at the Peter Doherty Institute – a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne hospital – have successfully cultured the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from a patient sample. This significant milestone will facilitate development of new diagnostic tests, vaccine development, and provision of international reference standards in understanding the spread and threat of this infectious disease outbreak.

The University will update its website as further information becomes available.