158 Ukrainian tourists were evacuated on a Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) charter flight from the Chinese island of Hainan, due to the spread of the coronavirus in China. The virus, which was first detected in December 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, presents similarly to pneumonia or other respiratory illnesses, with symptoms such as a high temperature, coughing and complicated breathing.
The evacuated tourists were interviewed on their arrival to Boryspil airport, and said that people were not panicking about the spread of this virus in China, but the amount of face masks had increased.
One Ukrainian tourist commented that “All the parks were closed, the excursions were cancelled, but the price for masks increased so quickly.”
The interviewed passengers said that they enjoyed their trip, adding that they also didn’t see any reason to panic. On their arrival to Boryspil, some said that they had expected to see “people in hazmat suits” instead of unmasked doctors. All passengers had their health checked on arrival, though this was only a temperature check. The Ukrainian Ministry of Health believes temperature checks are sufficient to screen for the coronavirus.
According to the latest information, 170 people have died from the coronavirus and more than 7,000 people are infected. Wuhan, with a population of over 11 million people, has been quarantined to stop the spread of the virus. Movement was further limited in 15 other cities. Cases of the coronavirus have also been confirmed worldwide, though Ukraine so far seems to not be affected.