Plane carrying evacuees arrives in Ukraine and prompts local protests

    A picture taken on February 20, 2020 through a fence at the Kiev international airport Boryspil, shows airport crew members and emergency services in protective clothing checking the fuselage of a Boeing 737 aircraft of SkyUp Airlines, during a stopover after it arrived following the evacuation of Ukrainians and foreign nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. - The plane carrying Ukrainians and foreign nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan on February 20 landed at the Kiev international airport Boryspil for refueling and headed to the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. (Photo by GENYA SAVILOV / AFP) / The erroneous mentions appearing in the metadata of this photo by GENYA SAVILOV has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [checking the fuselage of a Boeing 737 aircraft of SkyUp Airlines, during a stopover] instead of [preparing the landing steps for passengers to disembark from a Boeing 737 aircraft of SkyUp Airlines, after it arrived]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mentions from all your online services and delete them from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute them to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)

    A plane carrying Ukrainian citizens and other nationals evacuated from Wuhan, China, arrived today at Kharkiv Airport in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior said in a statement.

    The statement said border guards provided clearance for 94 people arriving on the special flight: 22 crew members and accompanying medical personnel, along with 72 passengers. The ministry said the passengers included 45 Ukrainian citizens and 27 citizens of other countries, including Argentina, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Montenegro, Panama and Israel.

    Video released by the ministry showed border control inspectors carrying out their inspections in full protective gear.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky defended the move, describing security measures on the flight as “unprecedented.” Passengers on board the aircraft, he added, were all healthy but would be quarantined and monitored over a period of 14 days at a medical facility belonging to the Ukrainian National Guard in the town of Novi Sanzhary.

    Video circulating on social media showed local residents in the town protesting the arrival of evacuees, blocking roads and confronting police. In a Facebook post, Zelensky called on citizens to stop “attempts to block routes, block hospitals, not allow Ukrainian citizens into Ukraine.”

    “The evacuees will live at the National Guard’s private medical center in Novi Sanzhary,” he said. “It will be completely isolated and put into strict bacteriological safety. Within two weeks it will probably be the safest object in the country. I sympathize with our evacuees, because I already know what it is like to be under personal protection, and their protection will be much more serious than that of the president.”

    There are currently no diagnosed cases of coronavirus in Ukraine.

    Source: CNN News


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