Bengal varsities mull halting exchange program with institutes in coronavirus-hit countries

As coronavirus fear grips the country, passengers arrive at Biju Patnaik International Airport wearing mask in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. (Photo | Biswanath Swain, EPS)

KOLKATA: Several state-run universities in West Bengal are mulling to halt exchange of guest lecturers and researchers with institutes in novel coronavirus-affected countries while others are urging foreign students from such nations to wear masks as a preventive measure.

Authorities of major universities in the state said they are implementing the set of guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry and are holding deliberations to take other preventive measures besides asking students to frequently wash their hands.

“We are alive to the situation, have passed on the Health Ministry guidelines to the students including those from abroad and are trying to enforce them in every possible way,” Calcutta University Registrar Debashis Das told PTI.

Another CU official said guest lecturers from affected countries have been urged not to visit the varsity as of now and a similar request has been made to the institute’s faculty members. He said foreign students from the affected countries have been urged to wear masks.

Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) Vice Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Roychoudhuri said, “We will decide on whether a request can be made to faculty members, researchers and foreign students intending to travel to coronavirus-hit countries to reconsider their visits if those are not urgent.” Jadavpur University Registrar Snehamanju Basu said the authorities are alert and the institute will decide on whether to halt exchange visits of students, researchers and lecturers.


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