Instructions and measures of UCAM facing the COVID19 pandemic (Coronavirus)

13 March 2020

UCAM information on incidents and measures facing the COVID19 pandemic

 

UCAM Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia is permanently in contact with the health and academic authorities, following their instructions and adopting the necessary measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus COVID19, that has already been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Below you can find the updated information regarding the measures and instructions given by the university:

 

April 6 - Certificate for regular residence

The autonomous bodies competent in matters of universities in the Region of Murcia have determined that it will not be possible to resume face-to-face classes for the remainder of the course due to the Covid-19 epidemic. In turn, the current decreed state of alarm establishes certain conditions and limitations on travel.

For all this, in order to those students who wish to return to their homes, they can do so without difficulties, the University has made available an electronically signed certificate, downloadable through the Virtual Campus. This certificate will serve the student, along with the document accrediting their condition as a student (copy of the registration form, student card, etc.), as a credential when traveling from their student residence to their habitual residence.

2 April - The Student Council of UCAM act in favour of the most vulnerable

With the support of the Volunteer Service of the institution, it channels the collaboration of the members of the university community with the authorities and charitable organisations to respond to the needs of people with mobility impairment. In just a few days, around a hundred volunteers registered. 

The ‘state of alarm’ that the Spanish society is currently experiencing caused that all the citizens must live locked in their houses, as long as the quarantine lasts. This situation is especially delicate for the elderly and those who have mobility impairments, when it comes to carrying out tasks such as grocery shopping, taking out the trash or taking the dog for a walk. Aware of the fact that this situation affects a lot of Murcians, the Student Council of UCAM Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia, supported by the Volunteer Service of the institution, is creating a volunteers network to be at the service of the authorities and organisations such as Caritas and Jesús Abandonado, to carry out the most urgent tasks. In just a few days, a hundred volunteers registered. 

Apart from responding to the needs of those who cannot go outside, the volunteers can also carry out tasks according to the needs of the public services and of the entities with which they are going to collaborate, such as answering to phone calls or providing logistic support in the organisation of clothes and food storages that, in these moments, are working tirelessly to help the most needy families.

The call to the university community is still open, since a form has been opened so that the students and workers of UCAM can register and become a part of the volunteer body of the university facing the COVID-19 crisis. Adrián Massotti, president of the Student Council, is satisfied for the response received until now from the students: “This virus represents an unprecedented challenge in our society. For this reason, now more than ever, young people must be available for those who are most vulnerable. The massive response of the student's body demonstrates the solidarity nature of our university community”. 

The registration form for the university community is at the webpage: https://campus.ucam.edu/serviciosucam/covid19/

12 March - Suspension of in-classroom activity from Monday 16 March. All subject will be taught in online mode until further notice

At the request of the Regional Government, in-classroom activity is suspended from next Monday 16 March and until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic (coronavirus). Today, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the academic activity will continue as usual, including the scheduled exams. 

The suspension of face-to-face classes from next Monday does not imply the cessation of academic activity, as it will continue through the online tools with the teaching work as planned from the University. Teachers will continue to teach their subjects in online mode through the Virtual Campus and the e-mail in the next few days, following to the extent possible the same schedule already established for academic planning. 

The explicit guidelines on the functioning of online teaching will be published on the Secretariat of the Virtual Campus. The assessment processes are considered and will continue normally, through the Virtual Campus. 

Please pay attention to the communications from the university (Virtual Campus, e-mail, web page, social networks) and from the authorities for possible new developments.

11 March - Measures and indications to date

- On 24 February, the Follow-up COVID-19 UCAM Committee was created; it is composed of different representatives of the university, in order to act in coordination with the authorities and within the university itself. 

- Since hand hygiene is the main measure to prevent ant control infection, alcohol-based products can be found in all University bathrooms and departments.

- If a student gets suddenly sick while at the university, with symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, cough, sneezing, feelings of fatigue) he/she must go home as soon as possible, preferably not by public transport, and from there contact the public health services (112 and 900 12 12 12). If he/she still has the same symptoms while at home, under no circumstances should he/she come to the university.

- Students who have been in risk areas abroad or in high-transmission areas in Spain have been asked not to go to the university. Risk areas are constantly updated by the Ministry of Health in this link.

- On Tuesday 10 March all the events, conferences and ceremonial activities that do not belong to ordinary academic activitiy and that could represent a risk were postponed.

- The information given to the university community is constantly updated through the official channels of the university (e-mail, social networks, virtual campus and webpage). Useful official information to stop the spread of the virus is shared through social networks as well.

- A document with the General Measures to Prevent COVID-19, elaborated by Cualtis, collaborating company specialised in occupational risk prevention, was sent to all employees.

16 March - UCAM has applied teleworking since this morning and has switched in-class teaching to online mode

UCAM Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia, as it had planned in the contingency plan developed by the Follow-up COVID-19 UCAM Committee (created on last 24 February), has applied today, Monday, teleworking and it has switched all the in-class teaching to online mode. This affects 12,548 students and 800 teachers, from all the official degrees (official and university specific) and levels, while those who already received their integral training online have continued with the same mode. Throughout this morning it has been verified that the technological means made available for it have worked normally (Virtual Campus, Virtual Desktop, etc.), while its services are still provided through this same channel, always with the coordination of its persons in charge and directive bodies; for this reason, an extraordinary Governing Council was held even this morning.

Furthermore, the strong commitment of this University with clinical simulation applied to teaching, in these moments, becomes an extremely positive tool for the acquisition of competences.

16 March - Facilities and equipment available for authorities and voluntary work

UCAM Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia made available for all the authorities all of its facilities, both of the Murcia and of the Cartagena Campus; this has been communicated through the Regional Ministry of Universities, in case it should need to use its spaces at any time. 

Likewise, it made an inventory of its medical supply.

Additionally, it has been specified that it offers its Molecular Biology Laboratory, whose equipment and staff is trained for carrying out diagnostic tests for COVID19.

Furthermore, this university, based on the principles of Christian humanism, implemented initiatives that make it possible both for its students and for its workers to carry out actions of voluntary work in favour of the persons most in need.

Regarding the field of research, the research group BIO-HPC begun in January a study with the Austrian company Innophore GmbH to propose possible drugs and it has already carried out the first selection. By using various supercomputers that are in the top 100 of the most powerful of the world, the group is analysing thousands of molecules to predict which of them can be the most effective ones against the target proteins of the coronavirus that are being identified.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

World Health Organization

Spanish Ministry of Health

Regional Ministry of Health - Murcia Health Service

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