Universities Urged to Implement a Coronavirus Action Plan

The Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research has called on public and private higher education institutions to take preventive measures against the new Coronavirus while taking care not to spread panic and confusion in the academic community.

In a letter addressed yesterday to the presidents of universities and private higher education institutions, Saaid Amzazi called on officials to put in place a plan of action to protect against Covid-19, to be deployed at the level of institutions, restaurants and university halls of residence.

This action plan, to be deployed in coordination with the services of the Ministry of Health, involves awareness-raising and information campaigns to be conducted among students, faculty and administrative staff, individual and collective sanitation and hygiene measures, as well as the establishment of a monitoring system targeting people returning from areas where the spread of the virus has been confirmed.

The Ministry attached to its letter a detailed sheet listing the measures and concrete actions to be put in place to counter the virus.

With regard to the communication component, the Ministry recommends, among other things, that posters ought to be placed in lecture halls, classrooms, student circulation areas and social spaces explaining the behaviors to adopt to prevent the risk of contagion, the symptoms related to the infection and the actions to be taken if a possible case of the disease is identified. It also advocates the creation of a green telephone line dedicated to students wishing to obtain information on the symptoms of the disease and the measures to be taken.

With regard to preventive actions, the Ministry’s fact sheet invites those in charge to ensure the availability of soap in the water points of institutions, housing estates and university restaurants, to dispense any person presenting symptoms related to respiratory discomfort and to ask students, teachers and administrative staff to adopt simple preventive actions, namely : Avoid touching doorknobs and stair railings, avoid close contact with people showing symptoms of the disease, wash hands with soap several times a day and possibly use hydro-alcoholic solutions.

It should be noted that the Minister’s correspondence was also addressed to the Director of the National Office for Academic, Social and Cultural Works, the Director of the National Agency for Evaluation and Quality Assurance of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Director of the National Agency for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and the Director of the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research.

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