KYIV – On February 20, a Ukrainian airplane evacuated 45 citizens of Ukraine and 27 foreigners from the city of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. After stops in Almaty and Kyiv, and circling in the sky as it awaited clearance to land, the chartered plane arrived in Kharkiv. But the most challenging part of the journey was still ahead.
An angry mob attacked the bus transporting evacuees from Kharkiv’s airport to a sanatorium in the Poltava region for a two-week period of quarantine. The protest turned millions of eyes to the town of Novi Sanzhary and elicited countless questions; many cited the lack of pertinent information that should have been shared with the public.
All of the evacuees were reported to be healthy, but were placed under observation.