30 January 2020 at 9:00 am

Coronavirus update for ENZ stakeholders - 30 January 2020

ENZ continues to closely monitor reports of the new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Here's a further update on ENZ-led programmes in China.

We’re writing today to provide you with a further update on the coronavirus and its impact on the education sector.

 National response

Education New Zealand is taking its lead from the Ministry of Health, who is monitoring the situation closely and will advise if any public health measures become necessary.

At this time, the Ministry of Health has publicly advised the likelihood of an imported case in New Zealand is high, but the likelihood of an ongoing outbreak remains low. However, we recommend that you follow the below advice to keep your students and staff safe and well.

ENZ update

ENZ is working closely with Government agencies to inform and share the advice being developed.

Please find below two updates on ENZ-led programmes based in China.

Prime Minister’s Scholarship (PMS) recipients in China

  • The safety and wellbeing of New Zealand students in China is paramount. ENZ is contacting PMS recipients in China to check whether they’d like to come home or are comfortable staying in the current environment. ENZ will support their early return.
  • We’re reminding students already in China to follow SafeTravel guidelines. We’re also providing individuals and groups of students scheduled to travel to China with the latest advice.
  • ENZ is offering Prime Minister’s scholars who were planning to travel to China in the next three months the opportunity to defer their travel at this time.
  • We have been working closely with tertiary education providers as we work through these options.

ENZ events in Asia

  • ENZ is reviewing the agent seminars scheduled to go ahead in China this March. We expect to be able to share our decision with the sector shortly.
  • Finally ENZ has set up an email address to receive sector feedback, questions and concerns – please email response@enz.govt.nz.

Advice from the Ministry of Education

  • The Ministry of Education has released advice for principals, early learning services, tertiary and parents on keeping staff and students safe.
  • The Ministry is advising providers to err on the side of caution. Staff and students who are arriving from China, have recently travelled there, or feel they may have been exposed to coronavirus are to take the voluntary precaution of staying at home for up to 14 days. This would take effect from their last date of exposure or from the time they arrived in the country if they are unsure.
  • It is important to remember the safety and wellbeing of all students is of paramount importance during this period of uncertainty. As international education providers are aware, they have an important responsibility to ensure that students are well-informed, safe and properly cared for. For further information, see the Ministry of Health’s advice to principals or NZQA information.
  • For further guidance, including for homestay, hostel and other accommodation providers, see the Ministry of Education's information for the education sector, caregivers and whānau of learners.

Health and travel advice

  • Keep yourself safe by following the World Health Organisation’s standard recommendations to prevent infections:
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.

Key sources of information are:

  •  MFAT’s Safetravel website As of yesterday, it advises New Zealanders do not travel to Hubei province due to the coronavirus and the associated travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities.
  • Ministry of Health’s webpage on the Coronavirus. In addition:
    • The Ministry has released information for travellers arriving to New Zealand in English, traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese.
    • The Ministry encourages travellers who become sick within a month of their arrival to seek medical advice and contact Healthline (0800 611 116) or a doctor. It is important to mention recent travel to Wuhan and any known contact with someone with severe acute respiratory illness who has been in Wuhan.
    • The Ministry is also publishing border advisories on this page which it shares with border stakeholders.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) is providing situation reports, travel advice and advises on measures to protect yourself.

 Please contact us if you have any issues or concerns - response@enz.govt.nz.

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