As the rapid developments around Covid-19 (Coronavirus) dominate the headlines, I want to reassure you that the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and our wider community are our top priority and to share how we are ready to respond to an evolving situation.
For now, it is business as usual. Aware that in time we may need to adapt how we work, the senior team, alongside academic and professional services staff from across the University are putting contingency plans in place.
We know many of you have questions about how this outbreak might affect your studies or how we work. To that end, we have developed a comprehensive hub for guidance, advice and signposting to support. This has now gone live and can be found here. The website will continue to be regularly updated with the latest information available.
We can all play our part in keeping our community healthy. Washing your hands, or using hand sanitiser, helps protect you and others. It is especially important when arriving on site; whenever you blow your nose, sneeze or cough; and eat or handle food.
The University, too, has introduced additional hygiene measures, such as extra cleaning rounds to ensure adequate supplies of soap across the University and to regularly clean areas such as door handles.
Our academic community, already at the forefront of healthcare research, are playing their part in helping to tackle this outbreak. A group of St George’s primary care and infectious disease experts have produced new guidance for GPs on handling the current Covid-19 outbreak. Published in the British Medical Journal, the guidance provides advice for GPs on how to manage possible cases of Covid-19.
Following the Government’s announcement that £46 million will be made available for Covid-19 research funding, Professor Sanjeev Krishna and a new clinical research fellow will be helping to develop a rapid test for the disease, aiming to provide a diagnosis in around 10 minutes. The project is being led by the company Mologic and is a global collaboration with partners across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.
We will continue to share updates as the situation develops, posting the latest advice on our information hub here.
With best wishes,
Professor Jenny Higham
St George’s, University of London