Health

Protesters Detained After Attacking Buses of Evacuees Over Coronavirus Fears

The evacuees were flown in from Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first reported, and en route via bus to a quarantine site.

Ukrainian riot police responded to the protesters, who attacked buses carrying passengers evacuated from Wuhan, China. | AP Images
Ukrainian riot police responded to the protesters, who attacked buses carrying passengers evacuated from Wuhan, China. | AP Images

Dozens of protesters in Ukraine on Thursday attacked buses carrying more than 70 evacuees from Wuhan, China, as unrest and misinformation about the novel strain of coronavirus ramps up around the globe.

At least 24 protesters were detained after setting fires on the road in an attempt to block buses and clashing with police. According to the BBC, Ukraine’s security service said a false report contained incorrect information that the evacuees were infected with coronavirus, but no one had shown symptoms. 

The evacuees were flown in from Wuhan, where the virus was first reported in December. They were then transported in six buses to a health spa in the Ukranian town Novi Sanzhary for a 14-day quarantine.

As a display of support for the evacuees, Ukraine's Health Minister Zoryana Skaletska joined the quarantine site on Friday and said she would lead the ministry remotely.  

“I hope that my presence there will calm those in Novi Sanzhary, as well as the rest of the country,” Skaletska wrote in Ukrainian on Facebook. 
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy condemned the attacks.

At least 2,236 people have died from the virus, and there are more than 75,000 confirmed cases, most of which are in China. Recent reports show new cases of coronavirus are starting to decline, but the World Health Organization says it's too early to know if the decline will continue.

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