Observation of Wuhan Evacuees in Central Ukraine Over: Everybody Free to Go Home
5 March, 2020

The observation period of evacuees from Chinese coronavirus-hit Wuhan ends today. This was reported by the now-former minister of health Zoryana Skaletska on Facebook.

"The 14-day observation period is over. We have already packed our belongings and are preparing to return to our families, friends, and life. The most important thing is that all the evacuees from China, the crew and the escort team, have not [contracted] the coronavirus," she wrote.

READ MORE: Ukraine's Health Minister Talks Coronavirus and Measures Taken

The observation started on February 20 when a Ukrainian plane evacuated 45 Ukrainians and 27 foreigners from the city of Wuhan in the Chinese Hubei province. When buses brought evacuees to the village of Novi Sanzhary in the Poltava region, locals had blocked the road and demanded that they not be placed in a local sanatorium. However, when the buses pulled up, law enforcement officers pushed the protesters away and cleared the road.

Some clashes followed: aggressive crowd started throwing stones at both law enforcement and buses with evacuated Ukrainians and foreigners. One of the men tried to run over a policeman and one of the law enforcers had his skull fractured with a stone. In total, nine law enforcement officers and one civilian were injured. Police have since opened five criminal cases.

Skaletska thanked all those who spent a fortnight in observation for their responsible attitude and understanding, as well as those who were involved in the organization of the evacuation and the observation process.

READ MORE: Ukraine Health Minister to Join Wuhan Evacuees In Quarantine Following Local Protests

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself traveled to Novi Sanzhary to greet the freed Ukrainians and foreign citizens.

He assured that Ukraine will take care of everyone returning home. The president also presented pink teddybears to the two female foreign evacuees. There was no explanation for the gesture.