While UM cancels all face-to-face lectures, tutorials, and labs, UTM seems to be taking things a little less serious. No visible change has taken place despite UTM being closer to Singapore where over 80 cases have been confirmed. Not to say that the infection numbers have risen to 75000 according to WHO. Is that so?
Safety from the Novel Coronavirus is looming in the back of our minds as we eat in Meranti or wait for a bus at Center point, and hence, we need an answer and need it fast.
Now this brings us to the question… Is UTM safe?
To answer this I spoke to relevant authorities (UTMi Staff and Global Buddies) regarding the matter and this is what they say:
“You wouldn’t see any Chinese exchange students in UTMi because we relocated them to a separate block where only a handful of our staff deal with them regularly”
Saim bhai – UTMi
While this reassures us to some extent, it still isn’t enough.
Ammar, an Isop buddy, worked in the front lines with other students to help assist incoming exchange students and he helped me get down to the details.
According to him, UTM did not have a perfect plan but perfected it over time. He went on to reassure that no one was put at risk or direct exposure to them
“The Chinese exchange students that did pass by had come weeks earlier than other normal students”
Ammar – ISOP Buddy
This brings us to the question. So where are they?
They now reside at S47, temporarily separated from the rest of the society. The screenings they go through are also at separate times from the usual. UTMi staff even went on to hold registration for them at 1 am, just so other students, like Ammar, won’t be at risk.
Furthermore, our VC, Prof Datuk Dr. Wahid Omar, stated in The Star that 112 of 399 Chinese students in UTM were newly registered.
He also said, “the students would be placed under home surveillance for 14 days when they arrive at UTM, where they will be closely monitored by 61 healthcare workers to ensure that there are no threats or health risks.”
It may seem like the visible measures taken by UTM look trivial compared to other Universities but at least we can rest assured that they are working behind the scenes to ensure our safety.
Now that UTM is playing its part, what else should we be aware of?
Stop wearing face
Yes, you read that right.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best precautions are the standard, everyday ways to avoid all germs: wash your hands frequently, try not to touch your face, and avoid close contact with sick people.
We all know the 2 types of masks: Surgical masks and N95 respirators
N95 respirator filters out particles down to 0.3 microns, the coronavirus is only 0.12 microns in diameter. You do the math.
Surgical masks are meant to stop large particle droplets from a person’s mouth to a nearby surface. In other words, they are primarily meant to keep your germs away from others.
Then who is the face mask for?
It’s for the carriers of the virus to wear. This will reduce the transmission of the virus to others. The incubation period of the virus is around 3 – 24 days so those that are unaware they have been affected are supposed to wear it as well.
How will you know if you’ve been affected?
Common signs of infection include
- respiratory symptoms,
- fever, cough,
- shortness of breath
- and breathing difficulties
In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Is there a cure?
WHO states that there isn’t any cure at the moment but it is still being researched intensively.
We are all human beings
This is something we tend to overlook when sharing posts or talking about it. Let’s respect the effort of their willingness to comply with the quarantine in UTM and of course to see them as classmates soon!
*This is an article from insideUTM – a blog run by UTM students who are passionate about writing and sharing with UTM community. Click the link below to view.