The coronavirus outbreak has caused alarm all around the world, which is understandable since more than 76,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 34 in the United States, and over 2,200 people have died from the deadly respiratory disease. Despite the coronavirus epicenter being Whuan and ravaging the Hubei Province in China, there are confirmed COVID-19 cases in at least 32 countries.
People around the world are on edge when it comes to the coronavirus, there are even towns in Italy that have shut down public spaces, schools, and businesses. A viral email warning of a coronavirus epidemic caused complete hysteria and even a riot. The worst part is that the email was a complete hoax.
On Thursday, riots erupted in Ukraine as several hundred protesters protested the bus transporting evacuees from China. The rioters started fires and hurled rocks at the bus, breaking the windows. Breaking windows on a vehicle transporting people who could have a communicable and deadly disease probably isn’t the best plan.
One protestor attempted to run over the police with his car. The situation became so violent that the national guard and armored vehicles were called in. The demonstrators attempted to block the arrival of 72 evacuees to a Ukrainian village.
The enraged demonstrators barricaded a road to a sanitarium where the evacuees from China were supposed to be quarantined. Residents of the village of Novi Sanzhary in Ukraine’s central Poltava region were so adamant about not allowing the evacuees into their town because of an email, which turned out to be fake.
There was an email thought to be sent by Ukraine’s Ministry of Health that stated that there were five cases of coronavirus in the country. The email was sent out on the same day a plane carrying evacuees from China arrived in Ukraine. The problem is that the email was a hoax.
The fake news email was shared amongst the citizens of the area and caused a frenzy. The people of the town started a protest to prevent the evacuees from entering. The chaotic riots ended with nine police officers and one civilian being taken to the hospital. At least 10 protesters were arrested.
A BuzzFeed news report found that the email was completely fabricated. The email was not sent by Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, and was sent from outside of the country, according to the Security Service of Ukraine.
There have been two Ukrainian citizens infected with coronavirus, both were onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that is quarantined at a port in Japan.
Earlier this month, a man and woman in Hungary were arrested for operating a network of “fake news” websites and Facebook pages that claimed coronavirus killed several people in Hungary, when there was no fatalities or confirmed cases.
Two people in Thailand were arrested for spreading fake news about the coronavirus. There were four people arrested in Malaysia for sharing fake news about the COVID-19 on Facebook and Twitter.
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