Angry mob attacks coronavirus evacuees and starts a riot in Ukraine to try and stop them returning to the country

Friday, February 21, 2020
By Paul Martin

Protesters lit fires and hurled rocks as evacuation buses drove to the hospital
Armoured vehicles, hundreds of armed police and firefighters were deployed
President Volodymryr Zelensky asked protesters to show empathy to evacuees

21 February 2020

Protesters in Ukraine were seeing attacking six buses carrying evacuees from the epicentre of the coronavirus in China.

They lit fires to block the roads leading to the hospital in Novi Sanzhary, in the central Poltava region, where evacuees were being taken and threw rocks as the buses drove past.

Armoured vehicles carrying hundreds of armed police, national guardsmen and fire fighters were deployed to unblock the roads.

The evacuees, 45 Ukrainians and 37 foreign nationals, were flown from Wuhan in China to Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine yesterday.

The country’s president, Volodymryr Zelensky asked the protesters to show some empathy towards their fellow citizens.

According to the country’s security service, the protest may have been sparked by a fake email which falsely claimed to be from the department of health that said some of the evacuees had the Covid-19 virus.

Ukraine currently has no confirmed cases of the virus. The country’s health ministry said none of the evacuees were sick.

To show solidarity with those who will be forced into quarantine, Ukraine’s health minister will quarantine herself with them.

Health Minister Zoryana Skaletska said: ‘I will spend the next 14 days with them, in the same premises, under the same conditions.

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