Ukrainians protest over having COVID-19 coronavirus evacuees in their region
21 February 2020, 17:19
At least ten people were injured on Wednesday evening in Ukraine after protesters attacked a convoy of COVID-19 coronavirus evacuees from China, Euronews reports.
Nine police officers and one protester were injured in clashes in the town of Novi Sanzhary in the central Poltava region.
Protesters had gathered there over fears the novel coronavirus could spread in the area after it was announced that 45 Ukrainians and 27 foreign nationals evacuated from Wuhan earlier in the day would be kept there in isolation.
This came despite assurances from the government that none of the evacuees presented symptoms of acute respiratory infections.
Ukraine has no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 2,000 people and infected more than 76,000 in China and hundreds more in over 25 countries.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had earlier sought to allay fears, saying that “unprecedented” measures have been taken to prevent the spread of the virus across the country.
He had also called for people not to stage protests.
“Most of the passengers are people under 30. They are almost like children to many of us,” Zelensky said.
“But there is another danger that I would like to mention. The danger of forgetting that we are all human and we are all Ukrainians,” he said.
“Each of us. Including those who ended up in Wuhan during the epidemic.”
Many Ukrainians took to social media to say that they were ashamed of their compatriots’ behaviour.