FIRST CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASE IN GREEK MIGRANT CAMP


02/04/2020




İrem UZUN -TDO- A woman who recently gave birth in Greece has become the first refugee to have contracted the coronavirus in the country, but it has not yet been confirmed where she picked up the infection - in her camp, the hospital or elsewhere. Her baby and its father were also tested for the virus, which came back negative.

“The public health organization is already tracking the contacts of this case in recent days and taking all necessary measures to protect (camp) residents and staff,” the Migration Ministry said.  Ten medical staff at the hospital have been quarantined and three other people in the same room as the woman are being tested, a hospital source said. According to the ministry, nobody else at the camp has tested positive. 

Yet, the director of Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) programs in Greece, Apostolos Veisis, said people living in the overcrowded camps were at a heightened risk from the virus because they could not practice the social-distancing and hygiene measures adopted by countries across the world.  "The refugee camps are the perfect place for disaster to be seen," Veisis told The National. Medical workers at the island camps are ill-equipped and under-staffed to cope with outbreaks of the disease, he said, noting that on the island of Samos, where one of the country's most overcrowded camps is located, hosting around 2,500 people, there are only two intensive care beds and only one doctor.

For the next 14 days the camp will be closed to all but health officials and nongovernmental organization staff as all residents will be under quarantine. Meanwhile, if it transpires that others are infected, authorities may confine migrants to their respective container homes to curb the further spread of the virus.


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