Thursday February 20, 2020
Dozens of Ukrainian returnees from the Wuhan coronavirus area are not welcome at home: the crowd angry throws stones at them and builds barricades. Some grab iron bars. Meanwhile, a Chinese man with a cut throat is found in Russia.
Accompanied by riots, dozens of Ukrainians from the Chinese city of Wuhan have arrived in a quarantine station in central Ukraine. Several panes of the buses were thrown in while driving, as live pictures on Ukrainian television showed. There was initially no information about injuries. The police had to clear a burning barricade for the convoy.
Hundreds of people had demonstrated against the returnees out of fear of the new Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus. They were partially armed with iron bars. Stones flew. Several hundred police officers were deployed to calm the situation down.
Local residents had blocked a connecting road to the quarantine station. The quarantine station is located in a sanatorium of the Ukrainian National Guard in the village of Nowi Sanschary, almost 300 kilometers east of Kiev. The Chinese returnees arrived there in the evening. The area was completely cordoned off.
The Ukrainians had previously been flown out of Wuhan along with other nationals. 45 Ukrainians and 27 nationals from other countries were on board. All passengers must stay in the sanatorium for the next two weeks. No Sars-CoV-2 infection has been reported in Ukraine to date.
Cruel murder after hospitalization
President Volodymyr Selenskyj was shocked: “The attempts to block roads, hospitals and not to let Ukrainian citizens into Ukraine – we are far from showing the best side of our character.” Prime Minister Alexei Goncharuk flew from Kiev to the Poltava region in the evening to get an idea of the situation. Similar protests took place in other cities in western Ukraine.
In Russia too, reservations about potential patients with the new virus are growing. According to local media reports, a Chinese man was found with his throat cut in a hostel bed near the town of Kursk in the west of the country. Previously, the man had been hospitalized for suspected Covid-19 lung disease but was released as healthy. The investigators wanted to examine a connection between his death and reservations about the hospital stay.