General questions about COVID-19 by WHO


What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?

Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.  See previous answer on “How does COVID-19 spread?”

Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.  WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings. 

Can I catch COVID-19 from the feces of someone with the disease?

The risk of catching COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person appears to be low. While initial investigations suggest the virus may be present in feces in some cases, spread through this route is not a main feature of the outbreak. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share new findings. Because this is a risk, however, it is another reason to clean hands regularly, after using the bathroom and before eating. 


Access to campus

Will the University open access for transport vehicles, taxi and delivery services to pick up personal belongings of students who are leaving the dormitory?

A car access will be provided for luggage pick up only for 20 minutes. Please send your requests to security@nu.edu.kz

Will the University open access for family members and relatives in case a student is currently out of Campus and cannot vacate the dormitory room?

Each case will be considered individually. Please address your request to student_affairs@nu.edu.kz and security@nu.edu.kz

Will students, living outside of Campus, have access to laboratories, library and other University facilities if they work as Research and Teaching Assistants?

All ID cards will be deactivated and access to Campus facilities will be restricted.

Will ID cards be deactivated only for dormitories or for the whole Campus?

ID cards will be deactivated for the entire campus, and therefore an access to all University facilities will be restricted.

Students, who left the campus and do not have access to personal computers and the Internet at home

Laptops will be provided to students of socially-vulnerable categories only

Prices for tickets are high, students having financial difficulties ask to extend the deadline for dormitory check-out. Some students purchased tickets for March 22-24, they ask for extra 1-3 days to stay in the dormitory.

Each case will be considered individually, students need to provide documented evidence. Please, stop by in DSA Office 23.069 or 24.048

When students will be allowed to return on Campus?

Students are not expected to return until the end of the semester. If the situation changes we will let them know


Is it possible to use library resources?

The Library remains regular service hours and 24/7 through March 20.

21, 22, 23 March: the library is closed for Nauryz Holiday.

24  March – 5 April :

  •       service hours are as follows: Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:15pm; Saturday – Sunday 11:00am – 7:45pm
  •       24/7 schedule will remain for Media Room (5e216), Science room (5e237), CompLab (5e238), Relax room (5e439), and Medical Library reading room.


You can use electronic resources off-campus 24/7. Please check FAQ: https://nu-kz.libanswers.com/faq/173062

Ask-a-Librarian, Chat, Interlibrary Loan will be available according to the schedule above through the Library portal.

Libguides will help to search for information and provide essential research support.


Groups of students eligible to stay on campus

Who is eligible to stay on campus?


  • Students having special medical treatment and students having evidenced severe family circumstances are to be considered on an individual basis
  • PhD and 2-year GrM students approved in the list submitted by the Dean’s Offices are eligible to stay on campus until further notice in addition to the international students, including those recently received Kazakhstani citizenship
What are the further instructions for NUSOM Residents and 3rd year Clinical Clerkship students?

DSA and USM are working on off-campus accommodation options, and the students will be notified soon


Instructions for residents eligible to stay on campus

Will students staying on Campus be relocated to different rooms during disinfection?

Students eligible to stay on campus will be relocated due to disinfection process and schedule. Please stay tuned for further instructions from DSA

Are spouses of eligible students allowed to stay on campus? What are the recommendations for family students with children living in faculty blocks?

Spouses of eligible students may stay on campus. Please mind, no other relatives or guests will be allowed on campus

Family students with children residing in faculty blocks may stay on campus. We will notify them if the term changes


International issues

According to the clarifications on travel ban from MFA http://mfa.gov.kz/en/content-view/-3580 :

  • all KZ citizens are prohibited to leave the country, unless there is an urgent medical condition to do so;
  • KZ citizens returning home to KZ will be able to enter the country;
  • All foreign passport holders irrespective of citizenship are prohibited to entry unless they have a residence permit of KZ or confirmed family ties with KZ citizens (wife/husband, parents/children);
  • Foreign passport holders will be given an opportunity to leave the country.


What will happen with home leaves? Can we combine home leave with a business trip to non categorized countries so that we don’t enter and leave frequently Kazakhstan?

Home leaves are not restricted officially but strongly discouraged. Kazakhstan has introduced a state of emergency from March 16 till April 15, 2020, and restricted entry to and exit from Kazakhstan (http://mfa.gov.kz/en/content-view/-3580).

When my wife can leave for summer vacation?

There are no restrictions on foreign citizens for leaving Kazakhstan. (http://mfa.gov.kz/en/content-view/-3580).

I have shipments of items being delivered from Almaty. Will the deliveries be allowed through? Will the goods need to be quarantined for some time before they can be delivered?

In President Tokayev’s Decree “On the introduction of a state of emergency in the Republic of Kazakhstan” (March 15, 2020) there are no restrictions on goods transportation.

Which countries are flights allowed to?

According to the Decree “On the introduction of a state of emergency in the Republic of Kazakhstan” (March 15, 2020)  – restriction is put on entry to and exit from Kazakhstan


KZ citizens are prohibited to leave the country, unless there is an urgent medical condition to do so.

Regarding Summer school. Will we be allowed to stay during the summer term to do our Direct study/Research/Internships? Because it is a big concern for those who are applying to MA/MS/PHD programs next year as without laboratory experience the chances to be accepted by these programs lowers drastically.

all mobilities abroad are cancelled till July 2020.
Issues about completing research work on campus and work related to research mobility for 3rd year students that are regarded as mandatory part of the study program shall be addressed to the School authorities and research coordinators. However, alternative solutions are being developed in every aspect of the University’s functions, with the unequivocal emphasis on health and safety with as little compromise of the study process as possible.

Is it allowed to go to USA via Work&Travel program?

all mobilities abroad are cancelled till July 2020. Experts forecast that the epidemiological situation will remain until summer and the US is in the state of Emergency right now. Strongly discouraged.

I am an international student and will be staying in dorm. As the campus is going to be closed, am I allowed to go to lab for my experimental research work?

In case that an international student is a PhD student, they will be allowed to continue their experimental research, but they will divide into shifts with their supervisors to work on their projects.

I’m a foreigner. Can my wife (not KZ-citizen) come back from the U.K.?

Unfortunately, no. Kazakhstan has introduced a state of emergency from March 16 till April 15, 2020 and restricted entry to and exit from Kazakhstan (http://mfa.gov.kz/en/content-view/-3580).

GENERAL RESPONSE ON TRAVEL FOR NU COMMUNITY (outgoing and incoming, KZ citizens and foreign nationals)

None of the foreign citizens can enter Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has introduced a state of emergency from March 16 till April 15, 2020, and restricted entry to and exit from Kazakhstan (http://mfa.gov.kz/en/content-view/-3580).

Can I organize a working meeting on campus and how can I book room for it?

on-campus events gathering more than 80 people are banned starting March 14, 2020. Therefore, Room Booking service, in compliance with the official restrictions, will not confirm the booking of rooms where the 80+ participants are expected.

Additionally, those requestors who have already received booking confirmation prior to this message are required to make all the necessary arrangements in order to cancel the event if they plan to bring together more than allowed people as per the latest restrictions set by the University administration



What about the Admissions department visitors enquiring information on admission on daily basis? Should AD announce that NU campus consultations are cancelled?

Starting from March 14th all visits to Nazarbayev University campus, including visits for onsite consultations on admission and campus-tours, are temporarily cancelled until further notice.

However consultations on admission are still available by land line +7 7172 64-25-84, by chat boxes on NU website, social media and by email info_admissions@nu.edu.kz. We also recommend applicants to follow our website and NU pages in social media for all updates.

Will be there any changes in deadlines for online registration to NU programs and submission of entry test results?

Deadlines of Regular admission to undergraduate and graduate programs are not changed.

For updates or any changes in online registration and submitting test results, please follow our official website on Admissions-Announcements. In case of any changes, all applicants will be notified by e-mail.


Questions about exams and marks – Office of the registrar

Please explain about final exams and since the Spring break is extended, please let us know whether the semester schedule and final exam period are changed or not.

The timeline of Spring semester remains the same – we are following the current Academic Calendar. The format of final exams will be decided by Schools

Will graduation be cancelled this year?

It will depend on the situation with the virus in the country. The decision on conducting graduation ceremony will be made after April 15th.

Will there be a summer semester? How will the format of our exams change? Will the summer semester also be online or cancelled?

Summer term will depend on the virus situation in the country. The decision will be made after April 15th.

How are we going to get our diplomas? What about the checkout list? (library, bursars, calculators, etc)

The decision on conducting graduation ceremony will be made after April 15th. If it is cancelled, diplomas will be mailed to all graduating students. The check out procedure is under consideration

Will students be able to get documents (like transcripts) from registrar during Nauryz break?

The Office of the Registrar will be closed during Nauryz break just like all other departments. You can order a scanned version of your transcript before or after holidays.

How we will be evaluated at the end of the semester? (Pass or Fail? Or we will be graded as usual?)

The grading will remain the same.

Will we receive full credit for the classes that we took this semester?