Published: 24th January 2020
Parents of 500 Indian students studying in China worried as coronavirus death toll spikes, 5 cities shut down
There are nearly about 500 students from India pursuing their PHDs and medicine in China. They have been asked not to step out of our dormitories
Even as the Chinese government is trying its best to contain the deadly coronavirus from spreading, parents of students from India whose children are studying in different universities of Wuhan and other cities in China are anxious and praying for their children’s safety.
“My niece is stuck in Wuhan, China; with the airport closed, she can't travel to India. Please get Indian citizens safely back to India till this virus crisis is over? Few more Indian students not knowing what to do! University roads blocked. Please help !!” reads a post on twitter from an anxious relative.
There are nearly about 500 students from India pursuing their PHDs and medicine in China. Shafiulla Rehman, a student from Bengaluru who is in China, told The New Indian Express over WhatsApp, “Everyone here is in a state of panic. We have been asked not to step out of our dormitories. Our parents are worried too. We are waiting for clearance from the government to travel,” Shafiulla said.
Entire China is shut down for its new year holidays and though a few students go back to their homes in India many don’t as they either would want to stay back to see the city, do research, or even due to financial crunch, Shafiulla said. “This time many of my friends also stayed back as the holidays are only for 10 days and we hardly get time to spend in India. But this virus outbreak has been unfortunate,” he said.
Students have reportedly been told to wear masks even while in their dormitories or rooms. Meanwhile, the Karnataka’s Health and Family Welfare department and several private hospitals in Bengaluru issued an advisory on the virus.
Private hospitals in Bengaluru are also issuing advisories in hospitals to patients. "493 passengers have been put through thermal scanner screening at the Bengaluru airport between 8 am on January 22 and 8 am January 23. None of them has been tested as positive for the virus. None of them has a history of visits to Wuhan city in the last 14 days," as per information from APHO Bengaluru.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation chaired an emergency committee meeting on Wednesday evening to determine if they need to declare coronavirus as a public health emergency or not. Discussions are ongoing.
Several travel agents have been getting requests to cancel trips to China. “Though very few travels around this time of the season there are some who would want to visit their friends and relatives. Even those people have sent cancel requests,” said Amarnath A of Classic Tours.