Preventative Measures for 2019-nCoV – Update 2

Preventative Measures for 2019-nCoV – Update 2

Posted on Jan 28, 2020

​You will have observed that the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) continues to unfold.  As of today, January 28, 2020, more than 4,500 confirmed cases have been reported.  The disease continues to spread beyond the Hubei Province into other regions in China and several other countries.  Global health authorities are concerned that this disease could spread quickly beyond the existing impact areas.


There have been no cases of this disease reported at KAUST or in Saudi at this time. However, colleagues from across KAUST continue to meet regularly to ensure an appropriate response to the outbreak and advise preventative actions.  Precautions are being taken, in collaboration with appropriate authorities, and KAUST Health is implementing advised measures to monitor and support our KAUST community.


We need everyone at KAUST to participate in keeping our community free from 2019-nCoV.

 The University is advising the following:

Please note: The below guidance has changed since the previous announcement. Please read the below information carefully.

High-risk regions

 The 2019-nCoV is widely thought to have originated in the city of Wuhan in the Hubei Province of China.  The spread within China has increased although not all Province's in China have confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV and there are some affected regions in other countries as well.   

The list of high-risk regions is changing and may eventually include regions outside China, and this information will be updated regularly as new areas are included across the globe.  Factors that will be considered include number and rate of change of confirmed cases, population density and geographical proximity to the Wuhan/Hubei region.   As it currently stands for KAUST purposes, the below list is currently considered a "high-risk region":

 Chinese Provinces:      Hubei, Zhejiang, Henan, Guangdong, Chongqing, Anhui, Hunan, Sichuan, Shandong, Beijing, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangxi, Shaanxi, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Yunnan, Tianjin, Shanxi, Gansu, Inner Mongolia.       


This list is evolving based on the latest information – we will endeavor to keep it updated as needed.


If you are currently in a high-risk region:

  • If you are scheduled to return within the next 7 days, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you remain where you are. This is to reduce the potential for the virus to spread globally and is based on advice from international authorities.  Further advice will be provided on or before February 4.
  • You must inform KAUST Health of your dates of travel and expected return by emailing We will reach out to you to support you.
  • You may find it difficult to travel at the present time.  If this is the case, please follow the official instructions and notify your department or sponsor.
  • For the safety of yourself and others, please strictly follow the health advice issued by KAUST and local authorities. 


Upon arrival to KAUST after visiting a high-risk region:

  • Please go straight to the KAUST Health Emergency Room. Do not go home or anywhere else first. Immediately inform them of your recent travel so they can best support your specific situation.
  • You may be required to go into quarantine at your home for up to 2 weeks. If this is the case, support measures are in place to make this period comfortable for you.

Planning travel to a high-risk region or coming from a high-risk region in the last 14 days:

  • You must inform KAUST Health of your dates of travel and expected return by emailing This is to effectively support you upon your return.
  • Official KAUST activities such as business trips, student studies, or conference attendees both to and from the affected areas must be postponed until further notice.
  • Personal visitors traveling from high-risk regions must be postponed until further notice.


Tips to avoid infection:

Please take a few minutes to review this WHO health information sheet to learn more about 2019-nCoV. Of particular note:

  • Where possible, avoid close contact with people with respiratory symptoms
  • Please be vigilant against the risk of infection and:
    • perform hand hygiene frequently
    • cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
    • avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough
    • when visiting live markets in affected areas, avoid direct contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals


What if I have symptoms or suspect I may be infected?

If you haven't traveled to affected areas, you are at low risk of being infected with 2019-nCoV. However, if you are concerned or if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms, please call KAUST Health at 012-808-0940 or 012-808-4444 explaining your travel history and arrangements will be made to see you.


More information:

The Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering has built and is regularly updating a useful online dashboard for tracking the spread of coronavirus.

If you have any health queries or concerns regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus, please do not hesitate to contact the KAUST Health Patient Relations team at or 012-808-0940.

Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself about this illness. Our priority is to keep you safe and well.

Preventative Measures for 2019-nCoV – Update 2