COVID-19: Update Feb 19, 2020

The Japanese government has updated its public advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and this has been shared with all OIST staff and students.

The Japanese government has updated its public advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and this has been shared with all OIST staff and students.

New guidelines for consultation with Returnee and Contact Centers are as follows:

People who

  • have symptoms of a cold, or a fever of 37.5 degrees or above for more than 4 days, or who need to keep taking medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol (acetaminophen), and
  • have strong fatigue and/or respiratory problems

are required to consult with Chubu Public Health Center (Returnee and Contact Center) on 098-938-9701. For non-Japanese speakers the number is 0570-050-235.

Anyone who has experienced persistent symptoms for 4 days or more should call the relevant number for advice.

Pregnant woman, the elderly, people with diabetes, or those who have suffered from heart failure, respiratory disease, who use dialysis, immunosuppressants and anticancer drugs, are at increased risk. They should seek consultation if symptoms persist for 2 days and more.
OIST advised its community last week that a case of coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified in Okinawa.

Proper hand washing, use of disinfectant gels and wipes, and covering your mouth and nose with a handkerchief, cloth or sleeve when coughing, all helps to contain the spread of viruses. Many people opt to wear a mask when in public spaces. The Government asks – if you have cold symptoms such as fever or a cough – that you refrain from going out to schools, workplaces, and that you measure body temperature daily if symptoms persist.

OIST has already halted all business travel to and from China and has issued preventative advice to those who had to undertake essential personal travel in affected areas. As there is now a confirmed case in Okinawa, we have implemented heightened hygiene protocols on our campus, which includes disinfection of door knobs, elevator buttons, handrails and so forth.

The Conference and Workshops Section and Office of the Provost are working to assess the forthcoming academic event schedule. Arrangements have been made to support ‘virtual’ participation by video link where guests are prevented or choose not to travel to Okinawa from overseas. Updated guidance will be issued to conference and workshop hosts.

At present, international air transit hubs in Japan and in Taipei and Hong Kong are operating normally for connecting travel to countries other than China, although additional quarantine and screening measures are in place.

Currently the Child Development Center (CDC) at OIST remains open. The CDC leadership team has written directly to parents and carers and will keep families updated on the situation as necessary.

OIST thanks visitors and the general public for their vigilance in ensuring that we are doing all we can to respond appropriately.

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