Apr 02 2020 - 09:17

Greece quarantines camp after migrants test coronavirus positive

Greece has quarantined a migrant camp after 20 asylum seekers Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار Health, Camp, Coronavirus,Greece,Greece has quarantined a migrant camp after 20 asylum seekers
Greece quarantines camp after migrants test coronavirus positive
Lebanon News
Greece has quarantined a migrant camp after 20 asylum seekers tested positive for coronavirus, the migration ministry said on Thursday, its first such facility to be hit since the outbreak of the disease.

Tests were conducted after a 19-year-old female migrant living in the camp in central Greece was found infected after giving birth at an Athens hospital last week. She was the first recorded case among thousands of asylum seekers living in overcrowded camps across Greece.

None of the confirmed cases showed any symptoms, the ministry said, adding that it was continuing its tests.

Greece recorded its first coronavirus case at the end of February. It has reported 1,415 cases so far, and 50 deaths.

It is the gateway to Europe for people fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and beyond, with more than a million passing through Greece during the migrant crisis of 2015-2016.

Any movement in and out of the Ritsona camp, which is 75 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Athens and hosts hundreds of people, will be restricted for 14 days, the ministry said. Police would monitor the implementation of the measures.

The camp has an isolation area for coronavirus patients should the need arise, sources have said.

Aid agencies renewed their call for more concerted action at the European level to tackle the migration crisis.

"It is urgently needed to evacuate migrants out of the Greek islands to EU countries," said Leila Bodeux, policy and advocacy officer for Caritas Europa, an aid agency.


EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said it was a stark "warning signal" of what might happen if the virus spilled over into less organised facilities on the Greek islands.

"(This) may result in a massive humanitarian crisis. This is a danger both for refugees hosted in certain countries outside the EU and for those living in unbearable conditions on the Greek islands," she said during a European Parliament debate conducted by video link.

More than 40,000 asylum-seekers are stuck in overcrowded refugee camps on Greek islands, in conditions which the government itself has described as a "ticking health bomb".

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said Greece is ready to protect its islands, where no case has been recorded so far, but urged the EU to provide more help.

"The conditions are far from ideal but I should also point out that Greece is dealing with this problem basically on its own... We haven't had as much support from the European Union as we wanted," he told CNN.
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