GREECE PUTS MIGRANT CAMPS INTO LOCKDOWN


22/03/2020




İrem GÖL- TDO- The Greek government introduced a set of measures that would apply to the migrant camps in the Greek islands. The camps are locked down from 7pm and 7am. In the daytime, only one member of the family is allowed to be out, and their movements are controlled by the police. Some camps, on the islands of Leros and Kos have been closed entirely.

At the same time, the visits to the camps’ reception centres have been temporarily suspended, except for who work there, and arrivals are being subjected to compulsory fever screening. The measures only apply to  the camps, not to the resident population of the islands. No corona cases are detected in the camps so far.

Yet, the sanitary situation in the camps are very poor with one water tap for ,1300 people, one toilet for 167 and one shower for 242 people. In these circumstances, migrants do not have enough water and soap to wash their hands and a space to self-isolate themselves. Apostolos Veizis, director of the medical operational support unit for Medecins sans Frontieres in Greece said: ”The imposition of this restriction of movement on the people of the camps and not for anyone else on the islands is unacceptable and discriminatory. You are locking children, women and men into severe overcrowded camps where the sanitation and hygiene conditions are horrific. If we had an outbreak in these camps, it would be disastrous.”

Also since the last July, all arrivals to the camps have been excluded from the Greek healthcare system. Vulnerability screening is funded by the government but, the only medical care is given by the NGOs and voluntary groups.


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