Coronavirus limits student from returning home


Courtesy of Aamir Qureshi/AFP)

A Pakistani student arrives home at Islamabad International Airport on Feb. 3.

Vashti Rosa, Reporter

According to a release published by the Center for Disease Control, 64,000 cases have been confirmed, scattered across 28 countries. On Feb. 13, news broke of 800 Pakistani students who are unable to leave the city of Wuhan, ground zero for treating and containing the virus.

Out of the 800 students, 5 have been infected so far. Despite the amount of confirmed cases, Pakistani officials have delayed and dismissed the students’ pleas to return to their home cities in Pakistan. International and local travel has been reopened from Pakistan to China, according to a Foreign Policy news brief.

Athar Niaz Rana, a senior medical practitioner at Islamabad’s Shifa International Hospitals in Pakistan said in an interview with Agence France-Presse that reopening travel may not be the most prudent decision.

“Pakistan is not capable of treating the coronavirus,” said Rana. “We don’t have any facility to properly test suspected cases.”

Due to China’s and Pakistan’s close economic, political and geographic relations, Pakistan stands in solidarity with China and the decision made to reopen travel to both countries.

These developments have effects reaching much farther than just South Asia and Europe. According to Derek Yu, the Director of the Office of International Education at TAMU-CC, around 500 of the 12,000 students attending TAMUCC are international students.

Musa Sajid, a TAMU-CC Pakistani sophmore studying Graphic Design, will be travelling back home at the end of the month.

“Here, I feel safe, however, over there (Pakistan), there is more to be worried about,” said Musa. “My friends and people are left with high levels of worry, despite the reassurances of our government.”

As of now, there have been 15 confirmed cases in the U.S and the people who are infected have been placed under quarantine. While travel throughout the rest of Pakistan and China has resumed, the Pakistani government has denied evacuation of the 800 Pakistani students in Wuhan until further notice.

To stay up to date on continuous reports, click here to be taken to the CDC’s website.