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Another problem facing overseas students is that some of the guardian families they live with have members over 70 years old who have been told to self-isolate for four months even if they don't have coronavirus symptoms, in a "wartime-style" lockdown by the government. As a result, it is difficult for elderly guardians to take care of young pupils.BSA Chief Executive Robin Fletcher told HuffPost UK in mid-March that many overseas boarders studying in the UK had already left their schools because of the threat of COVID-19. "The chief priority for all boarding schools is the safety and welfare of boarders," he said.
There is a shortage of face masks on the market and sending medical supplies from China to the UK takes a long time.Sharing the anxiety felt by Chinese parents, Chen is trying his best with his colleagues in the UK to send face masks, medicines and daily necessities to foreign students in the country."Health Packs" prepared by InterGreat Education Group for Chinese students studying in the UK Photo: Courtesy of InterGreat Education Group
No easy returnWhile most overseas students have opted to stay where they are in order to avoid cross-infections on the journey home, some students do have difficulties living abroad without family members amid the growing pandemic. The next stage of their study is also unclear, as schools and universities have been closed or restricted access to campuses indefinitely to curb the spread of the virus.
"It's difficult for me to make such a decision in a rush," Sophie Wang, a college student in London who had recently returned to China and completed a 14-day quarantine period in Beijing, told the Global Times, adding that her parents urged her to go back.
Wang said many of her friends' parents spent 16,000 to 30,000 yuan ($2,300-$4,300) to secure all sorts of plane tickets to China for their children.And the April monthly jobs report will also be grim, "with nearly 13 million jobs lost... and an unemployment rate around 15 percent," she said.
Congress in March passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package to stem the bleeding, one of three measures lawmakers approved to fight the coronavirus pandemic.The stimulus includes direct cash payments to Americans, expanded unemployment insurance and $350 billion for a small business loan program aimed at getting companies to retain employees.
However, the rollout of that program has been flawed, with banks frustrated by a lack of clear guidelines on how it works as they face a flood of requests for the cash.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would ask Congress for an additional $250 billion for the loans, citing huge demand, but that will need to go through Republicans controlling the Senate and Democrats who lead the House of Representatives.