'Enemies of the people': Coronavirus evacuees endure hostile return to Ukraine




\
\'Enemies of the people\': Coronavirus evacuees endure hostile return to Ukraine  

By Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams

KIEV (Reuters) - Julia Volok says some of her fellow passengers expected a warm welcome on their arrival in Ukraine after finally being evacuated from the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in China's Hubei province this week.

Instead Volok, a 26-year-old Chinese-language student, and her fellow evacuees found their buses being pelted with projectiles by protesters on Thursday as they approached the sanatorium where they have started a mandatory two-week quarantine.

"We heard the window smash and everyone fell down into the aisle," she told Reuters by phone.

"No country has met its citizens like that," she said. "We were bombarded, as enemies of the people, and this is very unpleasant. ... We have not done anything wrong to anyone."

Despite repeated reassurances from the government that there was no danger, the protesters feared being infected by the virus. Ukraine has no confirmed coronavirus cases and the government says all evacuees were screened before being allowed to board their flight home.

The protests have died down and Volok and the others have now settled into the sanatorium, joined by Health Minister Zoriana Skaletska, who will stay there for the duration of their quarantine in an act of solidarity after Thursday's violence.

One of the other Ukrainians inside, Aleksandra Volkova, had posted footage on social media of a room inside the facility which had basic furniture, a door that did not lock and a shower which she said gave her an electric shock.

But Volok stressed that these were minor problems and that the evacuees were happy and also grateful to the police, some of whom were injured while protecting them from the protesters.

"The fact that the door does not close is a small problem. We are not here for life, two weeks is not such a long time," she said.

Her room has a TV. The inmates have been given a SIM card to make phone calls. They can finally eat Ukrainian food after spending time abroad.

"Beet salad is a huge delight," Volok said.

She had been in China for a year-and-a-half, studying Chinese in Beijing, and had been in Wuhan in the Hubei province on holiday.

She spent her last weeks there shut up in her home, waiting to be evacuated, and lived off the food she already had in her house.

To pass the time in the sanatorium, she plans to do some exercise inside the room and read books she has downloaded.


(Reporting by Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

COMMENTS

More Related News

China
China's virus pandemic epicenter Wuhan ends 76-day lockdown
  • World
  • 2020-04-07 15:59:06Z

The lockdown that served as a model for countries battling the coronavirus around the world has ended after 11 weeks: Chinese authorities are allowing residents of Wuhan to once again travel in and out of the sprawling city where the pandemic began. The occasion was marked with a light show on either

Coronavirus: three months of global upheaval
Coronavirus: three months of global upheaval

In the three months since China first came across a new coronavirus, the world has been plunged into turmoil. A pandemic has been declared, schools and shops from New York to New Delhi shuttered, half the global population is confined in some form, while governments have scrambled to announce massive aid packages amid recession fears. On January 8, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) says cases of pneumonia reported since December in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, could be due to a new coronavirus strain.

Steve Daines Asks State Dept. to Investigate CCP
Steve Daines Asks State Dept. to Investigate CCP's 'Culpability' in Initially Downplaying Coronavirus

Senator Steve Daines (R., Mont.) has asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate China's role in covering up the initial outbreak of coronavirus as the world continues to battle the global pandemic."As you know, prior to China locking down Wuhan and Hubei Province on January 23, 2020, there were early indications that a SARS-type virus had jumped from an animal host and had begun to infect humans," Daines wrote in the letter. "What is more alarming was that despite official denials, indications of human-to-human transmission were clearly evident by early January."He also slammed Chinese officials for "spreading baseless conspiracy theories" by suggesting the virus had originated...

China is trying to relax its severe coronavirus lockdown, but a series of forced re-closures shows how hard it is to get back to normal
China is trying to relax its severe coronavirus lockdown, but a series of forced re-closures shows how hard it is to get back to normal

China - which is deeper than any other country in its coronavirus response - is struggling to snap back to reality. Others will likely struggle too.

China sees rise in asymptomatic coronavirus cases, to tighten controls at land borders
China sees rise in asymptomatic coronavirus cases, to tighten controls at land borders

Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up from 30 a day earlier, and the number of asymptomatic cases also surged as the government vowed tighter controls at land borders. The National Health Commission said on Monday that 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of Sunday, compared with 47 the day before. Imported cases and asymptomatic patients, who show no symptoms but can still pass the virus on, have become China's chief concern after draconian containment measures succeeded in slashing the overall infection rate.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America