UM refutes student groups, says college used for surveillance not quarantine

Modified 16 Feb 2020, 4:44 pm

CORONAVIRUS | Universiti Malaya has refuted claims by student groups that it had failed to properly manage the isolation process of students returning from China where the Covid-19 outbreak is raging. 

The university, in a statement today, said there was no quarantine, to begin with, and that returning students are only housed for observation at the 10th Residential College (KK10), which is functioning as a centralised surveillance centre.

"We stress that the students who are required to undergo this procedure are healthy and have not shown any symptoms but need to monitor their own health for 14 days from their return.

"Therefore, there is no need for them to be quarantined and they are allowed to conduct any activity within the compound of KK10, so long as they do not show any symptoms," it said.

The university said the procedure is in accordance with the Health Ministry's guidelines and the students are screened daily by a team from the UM Medical Centre.

It said the centralised surveillance centre is to help students to monitor their health in the 14-day period and the necessary protocol will be activated if any of them show symptoms.

It added that health screening is conducted by medical professionals but are assisted by other departments.

The university said volunteers at the centralised surveillance centre have also been briefed.

UM said it is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of those on campus and will not compromise on this procedure.

"The university will improve its protocol whenever the need arises," it said.