MIU sent an email to all students to clarify that the administration did not receive any reported cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), yesterday. In addition,the university confirmed that the administration will immediately announce if there is any case, in order to take the necessary precautions for the safety of the students and the staff. The announcement came after the spread of of a rumor among students on WhatsApp groups that a pharmacy student tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and she came to university the next day. The sender of the voice note also claimed that the administration decided to cancel lectures on Saturday only to sanitize the campus, and asked the students to send an email to the Student Support Office (SSO) to resolve the issue.
Another screenshot of a forwarded message went viral among MIU students, where the sender announces that her friend’s father has Coronavirus, and the daughter was attending lectures on Wednesday, which means that she also could be carrying and transferring the virus. The sender adds that she contacted the Student Support Office (SSO) in order to report about her friend’s case, and a personnel from the administration asked her to send as many emails as possible to the university asking them to postpone the lectures.
On the other hand, Dr. Nebal Magdi, the Head of Advising, denied that she knew anything and confirmed that the administration took the decision of cancelling lectures on Saturday upon a statement from the Prime Minister. She also added that the SSO did not receive any messages.
Dr. Nebal wasn’t the only personnel from MIU’s administration to reply upon these rumors. Dr. Fetouh Hassanin, MIU’s Medical Care and Emergency Director, took to Facebook to assure students that there aren’t any reported cases. Moreover, he criticized the claims, saying, “how could a person with Coronavirus (COVID-19) move with ease, without any shown symptoms?”Yet, many were skeptical of this statement’s accuracy, as the symptoms could appear as soon as 3 days after exposure to the virus and as long as 13 days later.
On our part, we tried to reach the girl whose father tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), in order to confirm the claims, yet we did not get any reply.
As part of protecting the students and the staff, the university is taking its precautions to avoid the outbreak, by sending any student or staff member with symptoms to his / her home for a few days, in addition to the ordinary level of sanitary precautions. On a personal level, you could protect yourself by following the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), which includes washing your hands regularly, seeking medical care early if you had any symptoms, keeping social distancing and finally avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Stay safe everyone!