By Tony Winterburn • 26 September 2020 • 8:11
1,700 Manchester students have been quarantined for two weeks in halls after 127 tested positive for the coronavirus a week after an illegal lockdown party was held on the campus.
Almost 1,700 students in Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley Campus and Cambridge Halls have now been told to self-isolate “with immediate effect”. University officials have begged rowdy students to attend virtual freshers’ events instead and to avoid big parties in a bid to prevent infections spiralling out of control.
Public Health England and Manchester City Council said in a joint statement that a “local lockdown” would be imposed on the two halls after a “spike” was detected in accommodation blocks. It read: “The evidence so far suggests that transmission has been within the student community.” The outbreak occurred just a week after a party with over 100 students was apparently held in the courtyard of Birley Campus.
Shortly following the event, students started to report in sick and the case numbers on campus soared. It comes as freshers at Manchester University- which is the city’s other major academic institution- were caught hosting a huge illegal lockdown party this week.
Footage taken at 1 am this morning, captioned ‘COVID wah?’, shows hundreds of revellers dancing around a sound system outside Owens Park halls in the Fallowfield area of South Manchester. Responding to the incident, a University of Manchester statement said: “We are aware of this party and our security services worked with Greater Manchester Police to shut it down.
“This behaviour is totally unacceptable and the University strongly condemns it.”
An extra testing station has now been provided on Denmark Road, at Manchester University’s main campus, while police and council officials have been undertaking engagement in Fallowfield for several weeks. 500 students at a Scottish university were told to stay in their rooms and isolate following an outbreak on the campus.
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