Coronavirus: Norway university urges students to return home from ‘poorly developed’ US

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology has revised its original post in which it singled out the American health system

Louise Hall
Monday 16 March 2020 17:45 GMT
Public transport numbers fall as coronavirus cases rise

A university in Norway is urging its students to return home from abroad, and the US in particular, amid the escalating coronavirus crisis.

The alert by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology advised students to return home if they were residing in “a country with poorly developed health services and infrastructure and/or collective infrastructure.”

A previous version of the post, which has now been updated on the university’s Facebook feed, singled out the US.

In this version, the post used America as an example of a country with poorly developed collective infrastructure stating: “For example the USA. The same applies if you do not have health insurance.”

The order comes just after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Saturday advising Norwegian citizens who currently remain abroad to return home.

In the statement, it said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages all Norwegian citizens travelling abroad to consider returning home as soon as possible, in a safe and quiet manner, in consultation with their travel or airline.”

The prime minister announced that airports and harbours will be closed in Norway from Monday, but that Norwegian citizens will still be able to return home.

As of Sunday, there were 1,077 coronavirus cases in Norway, as well as two deaths.

The US has received widespread criticism over its slow response to the virus outbreak and is now having to take drastic measures to help hospitals cope.

Experts fear the pandemic will put a "tremendous strain" on the US health system.

Authorities have expressed fear that when problems with testing are resolved, a surge in patients will hit emergency rooms looking for treatment.

In the US 3,485 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded so far and the death toll has hit 65.

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