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British universities facing rise in Covid-19 cases

Universities across the UK are growing worried about a rise in cases among students.Across Scotland, hundreds of people have tested positive for the virus on campuses, including 172 people at the University of Glasgow.Two buildings at the university have gone into lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.Li Zihao is a PhD student at the uni and lives minutes away from the buildings.”Initially, I was a bit worried but compared with the first wave in the UK, I have relevant experience so currently, with the new guidance and advice that’s come into force, I feel calmed down,” he said.The Scottish government and universities have written to students urging them to stay indoors and avoid going to bars this weekend.In one letter sent to students seen by CGTN, the University of Glasgow said those who breached the rules could face serious consequences: “We will not hesitate to escalate this to disciplinary action, including potential suspension”, the letter said.The university didn’t respond to our request for comment.But the National Union of Students has called the nationwide restrictions “unjustified” and said it is worried about the mental health impacts of the decision.Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, tweeted to apologize to students affected.”I’m so sorry COVID is making this special time of your lives so tough. But it won’t be forever and the more we get the virus back under control now, the sooner you’ll get a bit of normality back,” the tweet said.For Li Zihao, the student in Glasgow, the restrictions and recent rise in cases mean he is cautiously staying indoors but said some of his Chinese colleagues decided to head back home to China.”For me, it didn’t affect me too much because previously, I just tried to avoid these public activities. So, currently I try to stay at home unless I have to go outside. And for myself, when I go outside, I just try to wear the masks and take the sanitizer,” Li Zihao said.With the winter approaching, medical experts say British universities could be a hotspot for the spread of Covid-19.Hundreds of thousands of students across the UK have returned to institutions this month but just a week into the academic year, many are finding that the impact of Covid is far from gone.
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