Norway’s renowned University of Science and Technology has issued an alert urging students studying abroad to return home as a response to the coronavirus pandemic — specifically singling out the US.
The warning from the nation’s largest university, with some 40,00 students, applies “especially” to students staying in nations with “poorly developed health services,” as well as countries, “for example the USA,” with a “poorly developed collective infrastructure.”
At least 378 people in Australia have tested positive while five people have died after contracting COVID-19, one in WA, three in NSW and one in Queensland.
The virus has killed more than 4,000 people worldwide and continues to spread at a rapid pace.
The alert notes it can be difficult in the US to “get transport to the airport if you don’t have a car.” It added, apparently referring to “poorly developed health services,” that, “The same applies if you don’t have health insurance.”
“In line with the advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I, as NTNU’s Rector, strongly recommend that all NTNU students who are outside Norway return home.
This applies especially if you are staying in a country with poorly developed health services. This also applies for countries with poorly developed collective infrastructure, for example the USA, where it can be difficult to get transport to the airport if you don’t have a car. The same applies if you don’t have health insurance.”
The university’s alert came as Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement Saturday advising all Norwegian citizens abroad to return home.
Norway is shutting down its airports and harbors to foreign travelers on Monday. Norwegians will be allowed to return home — though they’ll have to be quarantined for 14 days.
In 2018 private meeting with lawmakers, President Donald Trump reportedly expressed a desire for more immigrants from Norway after complaining about people moving to the U.S. from “shithole countries,” and naming Africa and Haiti, according to one of those present. Responses from Norwegians at the time indicated they were quite happy where they were.
Here’s how some Twitter users responded to the Norwegian university’s directive: