National Taiwan University (NTU) on Friday said that its COVID-19 prevention efforts could serve as an example to others and help prevent further infections.
University vice president Chou Chia-pei (周家蓓) said that the school established a task force on epidemic prevention, created a list of people to contact in the event of an outbreak and transitioned 1,150, or 17 percent, of its courses online.
“We have deployed an automated temperature monitoring system at all seven entries and exits to the campus and as a university policy, denied visitors entry unless they were students or had emergencies, cutting down traffic entering the university by 50 percent,” she added.
The temperature monitoring system was designed by NTU College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science professor Liu Jen-sen (劉振森).
In its current iteration, the system uses devices with an antenna and Bluetooth capabilities to strengthen data transmission, as well as an LCD screen and a warning signal, making it more efficient than previous versions, the university said.
Although the university could open the campus as early as May 18, that decision would depend on the state of COVID-19 in Taiwan, NTU Office of General Affairs vice president Louis Ge (葛宇甯) said.
Visitors would still need to have their temperature taken and register their names at entrances, Ge said.
Department of Chemistry assistant professor Hsu Cheng-chih (徐丞志) said that academia could help the public and governments worldwide.
In February, The Economist featured data Hsu gathered from entering various scenarios into a model to estimate the spread of COVID-19.
Hsu is also part of a group of NTU professors and Canadian experts on the NTU COVID-19 research group, which is collaborating with the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The group had developed a biosafety level 2 laboratory using mass spectrometry methods to inspect virus antigens and the serum antibodies.
Department of Geography chair Wen Tzai-hung (溫在弘) said that without a system to track its students, one case of COVID-19 could have infected the entire campus within a day.
To prevent that, the department overlaid known areas of infections on maps of the campus, creating a computer simulation of when and where people have come close to areas of known infection, he said.
The research shows that the university’s response to the pandemic — reducing traffic and automating temperature taking — was critical to minimizing the spread of the virus, he said.
The university is tomorrow to hold a meeting to decide whether to relax restrictions, Chou said.
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