Coronavirus update

30 January 2020

UC is closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation in China. See our updates and Frequently Asked Questions here.

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There are no cases of coronavirus in Aotearoa New Zealand and no need to be unduly alarmed.

UC has plans in place should the situation change. We are advised by the New Zealand Ministry of Health and will follow their recommendations. 

As a precaution, and due to the likelihood of travel disruption in China, we have advised our staff and students to reassess any non-essential travel to China. 

If students are delayed in arriving in Aotearoa New Zealand and cannot enrol in person, UC will assist them with their enrolment. UC is also making provision for capturing lectures for any students whose travel has been delayed and who miss the start of the semester. If you are going to be delayed please contact Doctoral students can contact the Dean of Postgraduate Research ( and their supervisors. Other postgraduates should contact the relevant College.

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The virus that originated is Wuhan is a new, or novel, coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

How is the virus transmitted?

It is being transmitted through person to person contact, however because the virus is new, we do not know how infectious it is.

What is the current situation globally?

The situation is changing day-by-day – see the latest WHO situation update here.

  • New Zealand Public Health Officials are screening incoming passengers at Auckland and Christchurch International Airports as a precautionary measure.

What do I do if I have symptoms?

The main clinical symptoms reported in this outbreak include fever, difficulty in breathing and coughing.  If you have arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand in the last month and have these symptoms, please ring the UC Health Centre on +64 3 369 4444 or contact Healthline at 0800 611 116. Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages and they do have Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff available. It is important to mention recent travel from Wuhan or China.

What should I do to protect myself?

The World Health Organisation recommends:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

Watch the WHO video here. More information is available at the Ministry of Health website.

What if my travel from China is delayed?

UC is exploring options for international students who are delayed in arriving in Aotearoa New Zealand due to the coronavirus to enrol at a later date. 

  • If you are an international student arriving from China please contact our International Team so we can keep you fully informed.
  • If you are going to be delayed in arriving in New Zealand due to any coronavirus travel restrictions and cannot enrol in person please let us know.
  • If you are going to be delayed for the start of the semester OR the start of your programme of study please let us know at

What is UC doing to protect students from coronavirus?

UC has convened a strategic response group and is being advised by Education New Zealand and the the Ministry of Health. The health and wellbeing of university staff and students is a top priority and we are ready to respond as appropriate.We have plans in place should the situation escalate. 



For further information please contact:

UC Communications

  • All media enquiries are directed to the UC Communications team.
  • Email for media enquiries (business hours, Monday - Friday)
  • Call 03 369 3631 for media enquiries (business hours, Monday - Friday)
  • Call 027 503 0168 for urgent media enquiries (after-hours, Monday - Sunday)

Tweet UC @UCNZ and follow UC on Facebook

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