Coronavirus in Kolkata: Calcutta University bars travel to and from affected nations – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Calcutta University (CU) has stopped scholars, students and faculty from travelling to or from Covid-19-affected countries, in an attempt to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, even as several other universities have taken preventive measures, with many of them expected to take a decision shortly.
CU has stopped issuing no-objection certificates to those planning to travel to any country from which Covid-19 cases have been reported. Guest speakers and teachers from affected countries are also being prevented from attending CU-organised seminars and events with immediate effect. “We will not issue NOCs for travel to the affected countries,” said a senior CU official.
RBU notice soon, JU meet today
A senior CU official said: “Foreign students studying at the university have been requested to stop travelling out of the country at the moment, preferably not even to their home countries.”
A CU source said that China, the UK, Japan, Italy and France are among the most popular destinations among CU scholars for academic reasons. All of these countries have been affected. Registrar Debasis Das added around 7 students from the “worst-hit” countries have been asked to refrain from visiting hostels. “We have also requested foreign students to wear masks,” he added. Also, other students have been asked to exert caution while visiting hostels where students from affected countries are boarders.
A CU science teacher said the step, while needed, will cause delays in collaborative projects with popular universities outside India, many of which are in China and Japan.
Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) is likely to issue a notice on Friday for foreign students, faculty and guest lecturers from abroad, as well as for those who are scheduled to visit virus-affected countries. “We are likely to ask those who intend to travel abroad to examine how urgent it is for them to visit the affected countries,” said vice-chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Roychoudhuri. “We are not in a position to prohibit any movement. We can only alert students and faculty members and leave the decision to them.”
At the moment, the university has no plans to invite guests from China or other South-East Asian countries, as also from European countries from where the outbreak has been reported. “We have advised foreign students that they should, if possible, refrain from returning to their countries, if outbreaks have been reported from there, or even travel abroad,” added the VC.
RBU has quite a high concentration of foreign students on campus. “The foreign students mostly stay on their own. We are in the process of building a hostel for them in Rajarhat. There are students from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Mauritius and Palestine, among others,” the VC pointed out.
Presidency University registrar Debajyoti Konar said the university will take “appropriate steps shortly after assessing the situation” while Jadavpur University is likely to hold a meeting to discuss the matter on Thursday, according to university sources.