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​Preventing 2019-nCoV

23 January, 2020

There have been updates to the below information. Please click here for the latest. 

Preventative Measures for Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

You will have observed that the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) pneumonia continues to unfold in China.  As of today, January 23, 2020, more than 500 confirmed cases have been reported.  The disease has now spread beyond the city of Wuhan and the Hubei Province and several countries or regions have reported confirmed cases.  These have all been from travelers from Wuhan.

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 the University have been meeting regularly to discuss the outbreak and advise of appropriate 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.

The University is advising the following:

Travel to and from the city of Wuhan and the Hubei Province:

  • It is currently advised against traveling to the City of Wuhan and the Hubei Province.  Wuhan City is currently closed to inbound and outbound travel.
  • All official KAUST activities such as business trips or student studies to the Hubei Province must be canceled until further notice.
  • Any KAUST community members who are currently in Wuhan might 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.
  • All community members currently in Mainland China or planning to visit Mainland China are reminded to strictly follow the health advice issued by KAUST and local authorities. 


If you are traveling to or have recently traveled to the Hubei Province:

  • You must inform KAUST Health of your dates of travel and expected return by emailing This is to effectively support you upon your return.
  • When arriving back at Jeddah airport from China, either directly or indirectly, you may be asked to complete a basic general screening for signs of fever.
  • Upon arrival back at KAUST, please head straight to your accommodation and remain there. 
    • If you have no symptoms - please inform KAUST Health by calling 012-808-0940 or, if out of normal Clinic hours call the ER on 012-808-4444.  They will then arrange for a clinician to speak with you and provide monitoring if required.
    • If you do have symptoms – please call ahead to ER on 012-808-4444 then proceed to the emergency room.  The KAUST Health team will then follow appropriate protocols.
  • Even if you haven't traveled to the Hubei Province, if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms please call KAUST Health explaining your travel history and arrangements will be made to see you.


Tips to avoid infection:

Please take a few minutes to review this health information sheet to learn more about 2019-nCoV.

  • 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 crowded places
    • avoid high-risk areas such as food markets and where live animals are collected or sold


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