RMIT Vietnam NewsRMIT Saigon South campus fully operational

RMIT Saigon South campus fully operational

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - 17:59

This information is current as of 4pm Wednesday 5 August 2009.

RMIT International University Vietnam's Saigon South campus is fully operational once more since its re-opening on Monday 3 August following a week of intensive cleaning and other preparations.

RMIT Vietnam's President, Professor Merilyn Liddell, said Monday's re-opening came after the completion of a series of further preventive and precautionary measures to tackle any potential spread of H1N1 influenza amongst its students and staff."We voluntarily closed our Saigon South campus on Thursday 23 July, and extended this closure until Monday 3 August for two main reasons. First, we wanted to do everything we could to stop H1N1 in its tracks before it spread beyond a very small number of people on campus. We believe we have been successful in doing this. Second, we wanted to take some time to implement additional strong precautionary measures that would give our students and staff further protection when they return.

"These further precautionary measures are all now in place, and being maintained daily."

Professor Liddell said these further measures included:

  • Installation of antibacterial hand-washing gel dispensers around campus
  • Supply of face masks via the campus medical clinic for any students or staff requesting them.
  • Thorough, ongoing cleansing and disinfecting of all human contact surfaces around the campus.
  • Strict new procedures for the immediate exclusion of any suspected new cases from classrooms and other work areas
  • Easier access to information around campus in regard to recognising the possible symptoms of H1N1 flu, and immediate action to take

"Because of the strong steps we have taken to contain the spread of this influenza, the total number of confirmed cases as of today stands at 35. With a campus population around 4,000, this remains a tiny fraction of our total population.

"But we know that H1N1 is now out in the community in Ho Chi Minh City, and likely to be spreading through a range of different sources at present. And we also know that our students and staff continue to have normal lives away from the campus - so we need to continue taking all reasonable steps to prevent any new sources of infection coming back onto the campus."

Professor Liddell said RMIT Vietnam was confident that all sources of possible infection from within the campus had come under control, so the priority was shifting to the prevention of any new sources of infection coming in.

"Staff has been briefed on what to do in the event of any of their students or workmates exhibiting possible signs of H1N1 flu, with clear procedures in place to ensure that anyone in need of medical care will receive it immediately and can be removed from the campus.

"We know that H1N1 flu is not a problem confined to our university. It is a city-wide and worldwide issue – but we accept our responsibility to do all we can to monitor and manage our own situation as diligently as possible. In close consultation with local and national authorities, this is what we are doing."

Professor Liddell said all students and staff continued to receive regular updates.

"I am very proud of the university community for the way everyone has worked together so well to deal with this health issue in such a sensible and constructive way.

"It gives me confidence that we, as a university, are now better placed to deal with the continuing existence of H1N1 flu in the general community over coming weeks and months better than many if not most other organisations.

"We know this is a health issue that will continue to exist around the world for quite some time to come, well beyond the confines of this university, so none of us can afford to end our vigilance."