Coronavirus information for staff and students

THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED 18/03/2020

The National University takes the wellbeing of its staff and students very seriously and our NU Advisory Group & Response Team is carefully monitoring the situation. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to take advice from the Oman Government and Ministry of health authorities to share appropriate guidance to NU students, staff and visitors.

Various helpful information and frequently asked questions for students and staff are listed below - and we update these as and when necessary.

 

National University Response to COVID 19: Wednesday 18 March 2020

The National University and its constituent colleges, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Pharmacy and School of Foundation studies has been following the advice of the Supreme Committee and Ministries to limit the spread of the fast evolving Corona virus (COVID 19) infection.

The National University has followed the directives to suspend studies on campus for one month period, starting from Sunday 15th March 2020. NU has taken standard precautionary personal and campus-wide preventive measures for COVID-19.

National University Advisory Group & Response Team

At The National University of Science & Technology (NU), the safety and wellbeing of our Staff and Students community is, and always will be, the highest priority and we will take necessary preventive measures. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to take advice from the Oman Government and Ministry of health authorities to share appropriate guidance to NU students, staff and visitors.  

The Vice-Chancellor, Executives and Deans and Advisors are meeting daily and have formed an advisory group and response team. National University COVID 19 response team under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor along with Executives and Deans for reviewing the situation and to take necessary preventive measures at NU campuses.  
In order to keep the staff updated on the latest news and development including the National University responses to the current evolving situation of the COVID-19 we have created this webpage. This new NU webpage includes important information on COVID 19 and preventive measures. We will continue to update this webpage with new information periodically. (Click this link please: http://www.nu.edu.om/covid-19 )

The National University is following the Instructions and Guidelines issued by the Government authorities and accordingly will advise its staff and make any necessary changes in NU operations:

  1. The Supreme Committee: Reviewing the mechanism for dealing with developments resulting from the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  2. Ministry of Heath Oman: Issues Medical Bulletins and Guidelines for preventive measures, the speared of COVID 19 and providing necessary tests and treatments
  3. Ministry of Higher education: MOHE is the supervising ministry and issues specific directives related to Higher Education Institutions and its operations

GENERAL FAQ’s and CLARIFICATIONS


FAQ’s Academic matters:

  1. Learning & Teaching during Suspension period:
    E- Learning will be consucted where possible supplemented by online materials. Internal regulations & assessments will be adapted to suit the delivery without affecting the Learning outcomes
  2. Internship, Site Visits & Hospital rotation:
    As per Ministry directives, we allow engineering students who are trained outside the educational institution to continue in the practical training period in smaller groups. NU has suspended these activities for Pharmacy and Medical students due to the higher risk.
  3. Masters Project/Thesis:
    NU to continue to progress Master's theses work according to the scheduled dates.
  4. International Students:
    International students are subject to the same regulations as National Students and they should remain within Oman unless their countries instruct otherwise.
  5. What are the new assessment strategies?
    Each College is preparing its own approach and these will be communicated to students once agreed.
  6. Are we going to extend the teaching weeks? Is there aplan across NU?
    No changes are currently proposed. The university is monitoring the situation closely. At the moment we are told this closure will last 4 weeks. If the situation changes we will review this.
  7. Can the colleges take independent decisions on learning teaching process because of the nature of the programmes?
    Academic decisions are taken by colleges subject to overall university guidelines and any program specific requirements
  8. If students have difficulty in using E- Learning what will be our approach?
    Any student experiencing difficulties should contact their instructors for support and advice
  9. If students do adequate internet connection, how can we continue E-Learning?
    If students have difficulty accessing Wifi, they should contact their respective colleges and we will make arrangements for providing a USB storage device with all the content.

HR Related FAQ’s:

  1. What is the normal working hours or timing during the class suspension period?
    Faculty, technical and administrative staff should continue conducting their work in private higher education institutions. As per the directives of MOHE the working hours for staff remains the same as normal.
  2. Will NU issue any visit or work visas?
    NU will not be issuing any new visit or work visas, till further notice
  3. Can I travel during this period?
    Government advice is not to travel outside the country during this period. If you choose to disregard the advice, the university cannot assist you.
  4. Can Staff & Faculty apply for annual leave now?
    Yes, Employee can apply regular leave or part-annual leave during the study suspension period according to the regulations applied and it will follow the regular process of approval.
  5. If I am advised by the MoH to stay in isolation or quarantine period, what type of leave will it be?
    As per the ministry directive, the 14 days leave will be paid leave.
  6. If I am pregnant or suffer from other chronic ailments, can I work from home?
    Yes, discuss this with your line manager and our HR department will consider the request constructively. Please fill in leave application and send it to HR after receiving approval from the Dean or Director of your college/unit.
  7. Will the medical insurance card valid for staff who are in the process of renewing their visas?
    NU will issue a letter to prove that the visa is under renewal and this should be sufficient to get treatment without any difficulty.


FAQ’s General:

  1. Are the washrooms safe for use? Are they cleaned regularly?
    Yes they are safe for use. The cleaning and maintenance staff has been advised to deep clean  the Washroom and Toilet facilities every weekend and increase the frequency of cleaning every day. This is supervised at each colleges
  2. What about sanitization of the door handles – is it being done regularly?
    In addition to the regular cleaning the door handles and common places are cleaned at least 3 to 4 times in a day. This is supervised at each colleges
  3. What measures are put in place for visitors entering campus during the study suspension period?
    Visits should only happen if the matter can be resolved using telephone or Internet. Only the minimum number of people necessary should be present.
    In order to prevent external infections, all Colleges are advised to arrange and designate a specific room for meeting the visitors. Only that room can be used for visitors.
    Visitors should not roam around the campus and visit many offices. Their visit should be limited to the designated office. This needs to be supervised at each colleges. Visitors must sanitise their hands prior to and after the meeting.

Ways to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

  • Wash your hands: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home if you are sick: If you are running a fever of 100.4° F (40C) or higher, have a cough or shortage of breath, do not come to class/work and inform your Line Manager if you are a member of staff.
  • Clean/disinfect your area: Use a regular household cleaning spray or wipe on frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door handles and the surfaces of tables and desks.
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or upper sleeve. Dispose of the used tissues to the nearby waste bin or in the trash.
  • When to Use Face Mask Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold, flu-like symptoms
  • It’s the responsibility of everybody to come forward and inform if showing symptoms
  • Maintain Safe distance, At least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing

Protocols in case of a suspected COVID 19 reported at NU Campuses:

  • Reporting Line of communication in case of developing symptoms  suggestive of COVID-19 Responsibilities:
    1. For staff, report to Line Manager and Manager Administration
    2. Line manager/Manager Administration report to Nurse on campus. Nurse calls emergency number and consult with Ministry of Health for intervention measures.
    3. Line manager/Manager Administration also informs Director of HR and Health Advisor at NU HQ.
    4. In case staff or faculty requires hospital attention, Dean or Dean’s designee to be informed.
    5. For students, the Student Affairs manager and Manager Administration should be informed who will take up with the Nurse on campus and where necessary take up with Deans and Health Advisor at NU HQ
  • MOH Emergency Numbers: 
    1. Call number is +968 24441999 or 1212
    2. MOH Emergency Numbers for regions:  Please check COVID webpage http://www.nu.edu.om/covid-19
  • In the event of Transfer of Staff or Faculty or Student to MOH:
    1. Use Personal Protective Measures for suspected cases
    2. Transfer to Health Centre or Hospital or Home Quarantine as advised by MOH.
    3. Responsibility: The Manager Administration, Campus Nurse, HSE officer and Transport coordinator
    4. Campus Nurse to maintain Register and report cases to Manager Administration
    5. Follow up responsibility: Campus Nurse, Manager Administration and Line Manager, for assistance contact Health Advisor at NU HQ

When everyone follows these precautionary measures and Government directives, we can help protect our own health, that of those in our community and minimize the risk of widespread infection on our campus and beyond. I am sure with our collective efforts we can overcome the current crisis and challenge.
Since the situation is evolving and changing every day the NU will be issuing regular internal operational guidelines as required, please visit COVID 19 webpage http://www.nu.edu.om/covid-19

Together Towards a Safe Environment

Suspension of Classes: Saturday 14 March 2020

As per government directives to suspend study at all educational institutions there will be no classes for National University students from the 15th of March for a month.

  • Be sure to follow any necessary preventive measures against COVID-19 as advised by Government Authorities.
  • In the next few days, the Dean of your College will provide further information about your program of studies.
  • If you have any specific concerns, we are here to support you and you should make contact with the Dean’s office or Student Affairs in the first instance.
  • Please be sure to look after yourselves, you are our number one priority.

National University of Science and Technology

National University Response to COVID 19

The National University and its constituent colleges, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Pharmacy and School of Foundation studies has been following the advice of the Supreme Committee and Ministries to limit the spread of the fast evolving Corona virus (COVID 19) infection.

The National University has followed the directives to suspend studies on campus for one month period, starting from Sunday 15th March 2020. NU has taken standard precautionary personal and campus-wide preventive measures for COVID-19.

National University Advisory Group & Response Team

The Vice-Chancellor, Executives and Deans and Advisors are meeting daily and have formed an advisory group and response team. National University COVID 19 response team under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor along with Executives and Deans for reviewing the situation and to take necessary preventive measures at NU campuses.  

In order to keep the staff updated on the latest news and development including the National University responses to the current evolving situation of the COVID-19 we have created this webpage. This new NU webpage includes important information on COVID 19 and preventive measures. We will continue to update this webpage with new information periodically. (Click this link please: http://www.nu.edu.om/covid-19 )

The National University is following the Instructions and Guidelines issued by the Government authorities and accordingly will advise its staff and make any necessary changes in NU operations:

  1. The Supreme Committee: Reviewing the mechanism for dealing with developments resulting from the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  2. Ministry of Heath Oman: Issues Medical Bulletins and Guidelines for preventive measures, the speared of COVID 19 and providing necessary tests and treatments
  3. Ministry of Higher education: MOHE is the supervising ministry and issues specific directives related to Higher Education Institutions and its operations

GENERAL FAQ’s and CLARIFICATIONS

  1. Learning & Teaching during Suspension period:
    E- Learning will be consucted where possible supplemented by online materials. Internal regulations & assessments will be adapted to suit the delivery without affecting the Learning outcomes
  2. Internship, Site Visits & Hospital rotation:
    As per Ministry directives, we allow engineering students who are trained outside the educational institution to continue in the practical training period in smaller groups. NU has suspended these activities for Pharmacy and Medical students due to the higher risk.
  3. Masters Project/Thesis:
    NU to continue to progress Master's theses work according to the scheduled dates.
  4. International Students:
    International students are subject to the same regulations as National Students and they should remain within Oman unless their countries instruct otherwise.
  5. What are the new assessment strategies?
    Each College is preparing its own approach and these will be communicated to students once agreed.
  6. Are we going to extend the teaching weeks? Is there aplan across NU?
    No changes are currently proposed. The university is monitoring the situation closely. At the moment we are told this closure will last 4 weeks. If the situation changes we will review this.
  7. Can the colleges take independent decisions on learning teaching process because of the nature of the programmes?
    Academic decisions are taken by colleges subject to overall university guidelines and any program specific requirements
  8. If students have difficulty in using E- Learning what will be our approach?
    Any student experiencing difficulties should contact their instructors for support and advice
  9. If students do adequate internet connection, how can we continue E-Learning?
    If students have difficulty accessing Wifi, they should contact their respective colleges and we will make arrangements for providing a USB storage device with all the content.
  1. What is the normal working hours or timing during the class suspension period?
    Faculty, technical and administrative staff should continue conducting their work in private higher education institutions. As per the directives of MOHE the working hours for staff remains the same as normal.
  2. Will NU issue any visit or work visas?
    NU will not be issuing any new visit or work visas, till further notice
  3. Can I travel during this period?
    Government advice is not to travel outside the country during this period. If you choose to disregard the advice, the university cannot assist you.
  4. Can Staff & Faculty apply for annual leave now?
    Yes, Employee can apply regular leave or part-annual leave during the study suspension period according to the regulations applied and it will follow the regular process of approval.
  5. If I am advised by the MoH to stay in isolation or quarantine period, what type of leave will it be?
    As per the ministry directive, the 14 days leave will be paid leave.
  6. If I am pregnant or suffer from other chronic ailments, can I work from home?
    Yes, discuss this with your line manager and our HR department will consider the request constructively. Please fill in leave application and send it to HR after receiving approval from the Dean or Director of your college/unit.
  7. Will the medical insurance card valid for staff who are in the process of renewing their visas?
    NU will issue a letter to prove that the visa is under renewal and this should be sufficient to get treatment without any difficulty.
  1. Are the washrooms safe for use? Are they cleaned regularly?
    Yes they are safe for use. The cleaning and maintenance staff has been advised to deep clean  the Washroom and Toilet facilities every weekend and increase the frequency of cleaning every day. This is supervised at each colleges
  2. What about sanitization of the door handles – is it being done regularly?
    In addition to the regular cleaning the door handles and common places are cleaned at least 3 to 4 times in a day. This is supervised at each colleges
  3. What measures are put in place for visitors entering campus during the study suspension period?
    Visits should only happen if the matter can be resolved using telephone or Internet. Only the minimum number of people necessary should be present.

    In order to prevent external infections, all Colleges are advised to arrange and designate a specific room for meeting the visitors. Only that room can be used for visitors.

    Visitors should not roam around the campus and visit many offices. Their visit should be limited to the designated office. This needs to be supervised at each colleges. Visitors must sanitise their hands prior to and after the meeting.
  • Wash your hands: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home if you are sick: If you are running a fever of 100.4° F (40C) or higher, have a cough or shortage of breath, do not come to class/work and inform your Line Manager if you are a member of staff.
  • Clean/disinfect your area: Use a regular household cleaning spray or wipe on frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door handles and the surfaces of tables and desks.
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or upper sleeve. Dispose of the used tissues to the nearby waste bin or in the trash.
  • When to Use Face Mask Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold, flu-like symptoms
  • It’s the responsibility of everybody to come forward and inform if showing symptoms
  • Maintain Safe distance, At least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  1. Reporting Line of communication in case of developing symptoms  suggestive of COVID-19 Responsibilities:
    • For staff, report to Line Manager and Manager Administration
    • Line manager/Manager Administration report to Nurse on campus. Nurse calls emergency number and consult with Ministry of Health for intervention measures.
    • Line manager/Manager Administration also informs Director of HR and Health Advisor at NU HQ.
    • In case staff or faculty requires hospital attention, Dean or Dean’s designee to be informed.
    • For students, the Student Affairs manager and Manager Administration should be informed who will take up with the Nurse on campus and where necessary take up with Deans and Health Advisor at NU HQ
  • MOH Emergency Numbers: 
    1. Call number is +968 24441999 or 1212
    2. MOH Emergency Numbers for regions:  Please check COVID webpage http://www.nu.edu.om/covid-19
  • In the event of Transfer of Staff or Faculty or Student to MOH:
    1. Use Personal Protective Measures for suspected cases
    2. Transfer to Health Centre or Hospital or Home Quarantine as advised by MOH.
    3. Responsibility: The Manager Administration, Campus Nurse, HSE officer and Transport coordinator
    4. Campus Nurse to maintain Register and report cases to Manager Administration
  • Follow up responsibility: Campus Nurse, Manager Administration and Line Manager, for assistance contact Health Advisor at NU HQ

When everyone follows these precautionary measures and Government directives, we can help protect our own health, that of those in our community and minimize the risk of widespread infection on our campus and beyond. I am sure with our collective efforts we can overcome the current crisis and challenge.

Since the situation is evolving and changing every day the NU will be issuing regular internal operational guidelines as required, please visit COVID 19 webpage http://www.nu.edu.om/covid-19

Together Towards a Safe Environment













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