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Dezernat 2: Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Information on coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (travels)

After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international health emergency on 30 January 2020, the H-BRS feels obliged to take measures to inform and protect its members. In the meantime, the WHO has given the virus, originally known as 2019-nCoV, a more precise name: SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2). The virus causes infectious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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  • Due to its duty of care, the H-BRS no longer permits business trips to risk areas for the time being. Employees who travel to other countries and regions are welcome to contact Patricia Olligschläger (travel cost centre).

  • H-BRS bases its decisions largely on

  • There are currently warnings against unnecessary travel abroad, as severe and increasing drastic restrictions on international air and travel, worldwide entry restrictions, quarantine measures and restrictions on public life in many countries are to be expected. This continues to apply until further notice, for the time being - in accordance with the decision of 15 April to extend the containment measures - at least until 3 May 2020 inclusive.

  • The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has published a wide range of information on its website for experts and general public alike. The health ministries of the German federal states and the German government also provide information on their websites.

  • In addition, the North Rhine-Westphalia Health Ministry has established a public telephone service on COVID-19, number +49 211 855 47 74.

  • Employees and students who intend to travel privately to China or other current regions of risk are advised to postpone their planned trip until further notice. It should also be noted that some countries, such as Australia, have imposed entry stops for travelers with a stopover in China. DAAD funding for travel to China is currently suspended.

  • With the spread of the virus, there number of regions of risk increases. Before planning your trip, please take note of the Robert Koch Institute's information on current current regions of risk and the travel warnings issued by the German Foreign Office (in German).

  • Students or employees who return from a region of risk, or who have had contact with an infected person, should reduce and avoid contact with other people as far as possible. In addition, employees should contact the Human Resources Department (Patricia Olligschläger, +49 2241 865-9691, (travel expenses). Students should contact the International Office (Roland Weiß, +49 2241 865-711, to discuss how to proceed.

  • If there are signs of symptoms - only after a stay in a region of risk or after contact with travellers from such regions - such as fever, cough or breathing difficulties, the company physician Matthias Lenz (Tel. +49 228 2871 6176, or the family doctor should be contacted by telephone. Under no circumstances should those with symptoms go directly for medical treatment. In case of serious symptoms of illness, the rescue service (emergency telephone number 112) must be called. The possible contact with the coronavirus and the present symptoms must be mentioned.

  • In addition the usual hygiene measures apply, which also are recommended for the prevention of colds. The hands are the most common carriers of pathogens. Washing hands protects! Please pay attention to the recommendations of the Federal Centre for Health Education.

Disease pattern

The disease is a human-to-human transmitted respiratory disease, which usually is associated with mild signs of a cold. Serious disease outbreaks, sometimes with fatal outcome, are reported less frequently. An incubation period (time between contact/infection and the appearance of the disease symptoms) of up to 14 days is assumed. It is possible that the infected person can already infect other people even if they do not show any symptoms yet. Transmission occurs via the air (droplet infection) and as smear infection (via the hands).

Hygiene measures

In general, hygiene measures that are also important for the prevention of other respiratory tract infections (e.g. colds, flu, influenza) are useful to protect against infection. If possible, a distance of one to one and a half metres should be kept from other people, shaking hands should be avoided and careful washing of hands should be ensured (instructions are available in the washing rooms of the university). Coughing and sneezing should be done in a (paper) tissue, which should be disposed afterwards.
Do not put anyone under general suspicion!

There is no reason to take special protective and behavioural measures against persons originating from China and/or who have recently been in China without good reason or to demand certain behaviour from them. This does not correspond to the current risk assessment of the German health authorities.