Coronavirus outbreak preventing OSU student from returning home

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The World Health Organization is providing new numbers in the novel coronavirus outbreak.

New data shows there are over 70,000 cases in Asia right now. This includes more than 1,700 deaths.

Outside of Asia, the number of cases is just shy of 700 with three deaths reported.

The coronavirus, known as CORVID-19, has restricted travel in and around China and with spring break coming up, Chinese student organizations at Ohio State University have been discussing plans on how they’re going to get home.

One student said his spring break plans have changed.

“I won’t go back for spring break at all because American Airlines, they all shutdown their airlines that go back to China,” said sophomore Zir Kang. “So, I cannot go back to China. I planned to go back to China in the spring, but just because of the outbreak of coronavirus, I can’t go back there.”

Kang said his family lives in the province next to where the outbreak originated.

“The coronavirus in my hometown is also very, you know, severe there,” said Kang.

Now he cannot take his trip home for spring break to see his mom and dad, because of the virus.

So he’ll have to spend that week right here on Ohio State’s campus.

“Yeah, I feel a little sadness,” said Kang.

The only think Kang said he can do it sit and wait for better news.

Travel agencies here in central Ohio said they’re doing the same.

“All of our tourist suppliers give us advisories, and so it helps us in determining what areas are going to be affected,” said Jeannie Gualtieri, president of Active Travel.

Gualtieri said her agency is seeing a big shift in cruises.

They are canceling, re-routing, and heavily screening people with updated policies on who they let onto the ships.

She said, for now, travelers don’t have to worry about booking flights since most are now allowed to fly to China.

Kang hopes that changes soon.

“Yeah, I’m kind of afraid that I can’t go back home to see my mom and my dad, but hopefully I think it shouldn’t be a question in the future,” said Kang.

Gualtieri said anyone who is traveling should consider travel insurance only because there is no telling where this virus could spread to and it’s the best way to keep yourself protected.

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