Coronavirus: Dozens protest in Ukraine over China virus evacuees

An officer of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service checks the passport of a passenger arriving from China on Feb 4, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV (AFP) - Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside a Ukraine hospital on Wednesday (Feb 19), urging the government not to allow evacuees from virus-hit China to be quarantined in the facility, local media reported.

A plane carrying 48 Ukrainians and 29 foreign nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan - the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak - is due to land in Ukraine on Thursday.

Ukraine's health ministry has said none of the passengers are sick, but they will be quarantined for 14 days at several facilities across the country.

Ukraine so far has no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 74,000, mostly in China.

Several dozen demonstrators blocked roads near a local hospital in the town of Vynnyky in western Ukraine after rumours spread the site could hold some of the evacuees.

Local media reported that hospital staff were among the protesters.

"We came out to stop the virus being brought here," a protester in a white coat said in a video published by local Zaxid news site.

Earlier in the day, several patients were moved out of the hospital, sparking fears that space was being made available for incoming travellers from Wuhan.

Officials have not said where the evacuees will be held for quarantine.

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