COVID-19: The Facts, Statistics, and What it means for UNM Students

Of the 139 497 cases reported worldwide, 70 733 have recovered. However, the fast travel of the virus has pushed WHO (World Health Organisation) to declare a global pandemic. Thus, some of those on-campus are apprehensive over the whole ordeal. Nonetheless, the World Health Organization and the Ministry Of Health of Malaysia are doing their best to ensure everyone is safe. 

What is coronavirus? There’s more than one? 

Many coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections in humans ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause animal or human illnesses. The most recent coronavirus discovered triggers the COVID-19 coronavirus disease.

What is the probability of me catching the virus?

The risk of catching COVID-19 is still low for most people. Each time a new case of COVID-19 is identified, governments and health authorities take rigorous action. Hotspots have been identified and those in the central city and those on-campus merely need to take precautions while maintaining composure. Staying put, especially if your area is generally safe from the virus, is the most ideal step. Illness from infection with COVID-19 is usually mild, particularly for children and young adults.

Unknowingly visited an infected area. What do I do now?

If you feel unwell, self-isolate yourself and give a call to the on-campus clinic for the next steps. The university has also set up a hotline that can be found in a circular sent to every staff and student. Usually around 5 days, the incubation period can last from 1 to 14 days. 

Why isn’t anyone wearing a mask? Is it because Tesco has run out? 

Wear a mask only if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (particularly coughing) or care for anyone who might have COVID-19. Masks are scarce around the world, not just Semenyih, it is advised that people are responsible with their usage of surgical masks to avoid excessive wastage of scarce equipment and wasteful use of masks. 

Should I pick up my package from Trent? Is it unsafe to attain a package from any place in which COVID-19 was reported? 

It is safe, as the package would have been exposed to many conditions and temperatures and thus killing the infection in its journey (should the package be exposed prior to shipment). 

To tapau (take-away), or not to tapau?

Experts in public health agree that eating out is healthy as long as you take precautions such as constantly washing your hands with a soap or hand sanitizer and maintaining a minimum distance of 3 feet from anyone who sneezes or coughs. Diners are rightly worried about being introduced to potentially infected food service staff who prepare and distribute much of the food we consume every day. However, because it is accepted that coronavirus is not spread by food but by hard surfaces.

And any time you encounter something during your meal – the menu while dining, or the condiment packet  – resist touching your face or eating before you clean your hands. Take-away, drive-through and deliveries are the best option and come highly recommended. 

What does this mean for UNM students? 

As there has been no reported case on-campus, life on campus, especially our studies should remain unaffected. Exams and lectures should go on as usual.* 

The main difference is the reduction of on-campus crowds and activities. Many students will choose to avoid crowds – which wouldn’t be too difficult with the looming submission dates. 

Student activities will die down as major events move to smaller scales events, events are moved to postponement and some activities are outright canceled. The Nottingham Dance Club has announced that the annual showcase entitled ’SWAG’, will not allow external spectators nor internal spectators but will instead be broadcasted to an online audience.

Clubs and Societies have been briefed and a strict barring of external participants, including speakers, vendors, food trucks, attendees, performers and the like have been highlighted. Even internal events have been capped at 100 participants. 

*Halting of classes and exams has not been confirmed despite rumors.
Please wait for a formal statement from the University & Provost to address the situation.

Written by Nayli Nasran
Reference: statistics | facts: 1 2 3