Right after the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) announced in an emergency press conference on 5th March 2020 that an Australian violist and composer who came to perform at the National Concert Hall in Taipei was diagnosed with the new coronavirus upon returning to Australia, SCU’s Department of Music responded quickly and adopted several preventive measures to ensure the safety of Soochow campuses.
The Chair of Music Department immediately obtained from the MOHW a copy of the full list of people who had been in physical proximity of the Australian musician, and checked whether any Soochow teachers or students were among them. After a close probe, three part-time teachers of the Department of Music had been identified as co-performers with the violist, but they have not come to Soochow campuses nor taught any classes since the start of the current semester.
The Department had then conducted a thorough survey of all its students, who were required to report whether they had been in close physical contact with the three teachers mentioned above and whether they had been inside the National Concert Hall during the time period between February 22nd and March 5th. So far, 233 students have completed the questionnaire, and SCU’s Epidemic Prevention Team is working closely with the Department of Music to follow any suspected cases.
The Department also made announcements on March 6th about the course suspension of some teachers and students and their self-management and home quarantine. According to the guidelines made by the Central Epidemic Command Center of the MOHW, "National Symphony Orchestra members who are under self-management of health and are offering courses this semester should stop their classes for 14 days to avoid worrying teachers and students on campus.” Therefore, the Department had asked its teachers and students who had contact history with the three above-mentioned teachers should suspend their classes till March 13th and make up the classes sometime later.
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