As students witnessed flashbacks similar to the brutal first wave of Covid-19 in Italy last year, many of them were back home at the start of the year. While some managed to come home on time, some were late to meet the last minute rush when Italy closed its international borders to India.
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Those who returned to India before April 28, when air travel to and from the country was suspended, are now stuck here, even though their fellow universities in Italy have gone back to their normal lives. Zeeshan Ahmed, a cyber security student at Rome’s Sapienza University, arrived in India after he received the news of his sister being ill due to COVID-19. Eventually his entire family got infected with the virus including him.
“It was devastation. In fact, it was a repetition of what I saw in Italy last year that bothered me even more to first learn about my sister. Then, everyone around was infected and loved ones and family The news of his loss had become an everyday thing,” Ahmed told PTI.
“The second wave may have subsided but the nightmare is not over for me. Italy is back to normal but I am stuck here while the universities are fully functioning. I also had a part-time job there which I want to move from here. I’m continuing but that won’t be an option in a few weeks as work is finally getting affected due to my absence.”
Owais R Khan of Aligarh, who is studying MSc Computer Science at the same university in Rome, says he came back to India in February when the situation in both the countries was better.
“All of a sudden, everything here broke down and a week before my scheduled return, Italy imposed a travel ban, which still hasn’t been lifted. The exams at my university are going on in both offline and online mode. We are in touch The embassy is sending emails to the ministry to take up the issue with their counterparts in Italy, but nothing has worked,” Khan said.
“It feels like a vicious cycle. Last year, we were stuck in Italy when families here were under stress. A year later, the same incidents have happened in India and we are in the same situation again. It’s hard to deal with these issues. Refreshing memories of the loss and funeral of family members while struggling through it,” he said.
For Nihal Vikram Singh, an MBBS student at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, the trouble is not limited to planning travel delays, but not allowing residence permits and Indian vaccines.
“According to our residence permit, we cannot stay outside Italy for more than six months. It would be difficult to go through the same process again and get a permit. Also, I am a medical student. Although I am attending My theory classes are online, which is not enough for my syllabus,” he said.
Italy on June 26 allowed Italian citizens from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to travel from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to citizens of Italy or those with a registry of Italian citizens living abroad.
While there is no official update on a possible easing of travel restrictions, the Indian ambassador to Italy had a meeting with community representatives on July 9, where he briefed them on efforts to demand relaxations. .
Indian Embassy in Italy tweeted, “Ambassador Dr. Neena Malhotra interacted virtually with community representatives and briefed about the mission’s efforts for relaxation and resumption of flights for stranded Indians. Several other communities The issues were discussed.”
India recorded 41,157 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally to 3.11 crore, while the death toll climbed to over 4.13 lakh with 518 more fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry’s updated data on Sunday.
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