Published: 15th March 2021
Odisha's first known COVID patient awaits return to Italy to complete his PhD
Little did he know that the pandemic would pour cold water on his plans of completing the programme in a couple of years
Odisha’s, Debasis Srichandan, is anxiously waiting to return to Italy but it is not likely to happen soon as the first western country to be hit hard by the pandemic in early February last year continues to battle highly contagious variants of the novel coronavirus and still in lockdown.
A city resident, Debasis (33) was diagnosed with coronavirus on March 15 last year, nearly a week after he returned from Milan, the Capital of Italy’s northern region Lombardy. He was the first Covid-19 hospitalisation in the State and was discharged on April 3.
“Since then I am at home and studying online. Although the university has extended the programme due to the pandemic, I want to return soon as my research work is already delayed by one year,” said Debasis, who is doing PhD in machine learning at University of Milan.
After completing MS in Computer Science in the same university, he had enrolled for the PhD programme. But little did he know that the pandemic would pour cold water on his plans of completing the programme in a couple of years.
Italy saw infections rise by over 10 per cent (pc) last week compared to the week earlier. The unfavourable conditions, notwithstanding, he has his re-entry Visa done, which is valid for 90 days from April 1.
“The Italy government has imposed a nationwide lockdown over the Easter holidays and placed curbs on business and movement. Library and labs are closed. It means if I go there now, I will have to do my research activities from home what is I am doing here. Since the vaccination programme is going on full swing there, I hope the curbs would be lifted soon,” he said.