Three students in their 20s studying at ETIC Algarve are being pulled out of the Erasmus+ exchange that they’re on in Turin, Italy, due to concerns over the spread in that country of coronavirus Covid-19.
Said ETIC director Nuno Ribeiro today, the youngsters – aged between 20 and 25 – will be on a flight to Lisbon on Wednesday.
Talking to online Sulinformação, Ribeiro said the decision to pull the students out followed a notice published by the National Erasmus Agency that said organisations “could invoke the clause of ‘force majeure’ with regard to activities of mobility to China or other affected areas”.
The notice stressed that exchange programmes could be ‘cancelled, delayed or relocated’ without prejudicing students involved.
In this context, Ribeiro contacted the trio who, he said, was aleady “quite worried” already, bearing in mind Italy has already imposed ‘draconian measures to try to halt the coronavirus outbreak in the north of the country’ – not that far from Turin – yet the number of victims, and deaths, keeps rising.
Today, for example, the students have been told to stay at home.
When the group returns, “there is still no indication that they will have to remain in quarantine”, Ribeiro told Sulinformação – though the situation by Wednesday may have changed.
This afternoon in Portugal yet another suspected case of Covid-19 (the 14th so far) is being tested in Porto’s São João Hospital.
Meantime, the EU has announced a €232 million package to try and stem the spread of the virus, deciding, for the time being, not to temporarily suspend Schengen and close countries’ borders.