85 Indian students in Italian city send SOS

JAIPUR: about 85 Indians students stranded for a week in the university town of Pavia in north Italy’s Lombardy region, which has reported 17 deaths over the past few days, have sent an SOS seeking evacuation at the earliest. Some of these students were booked on flights to India that got cancelled in the wake of new coronavirus cases being reported in .

Panic among the students has escalated since a non-teaching faculty member of the University of Pavia’s engineering department tested positive for coronavirus. Around 15 other staff members have been quarantined.

Students in Italy fear that the situation will get worse

Half of us had booked to return to India, but flights are canceled every day and new tickets are prohibitively expensive, ”Ankita KS, a Bangalore student who graduated in international business and entrepreneurship, told TOI. “The grocery stores here are quickly running out of stock. We fear that the situation will get worse and, therefore, we ask the government of India to intervene. ”

Of the 85 Indian students stuck in Pavia, 25 are from Telangana, 20 from , 15 from Tamil Nadu, four from Kerala, two from Delhi and one each from Rajasthan, Gurgaon and Dehradun. Around 65 of them are studying engineering.

Industrial automation student Purushoth Kumar Madhu will fly to India on March 10, but the uncertainty about whether the flight will operate is making him nervous. “I have been told that most flights across the Gulf are being canceled. The quarantined Indians upon arrival at Indian airports for 10-15 days is another concern, ”he said.