Second Greek migrant camp under the coronavirus blockade | New


Greek authorities have locked up a second migrant camp near Athens after an Afghan resident tested positive for the coronavirus, the migration ministry said.

Officials said the Malakasa camp, about 38 kilometers (24 miles) northeast of Athens, was placed in “complete medical isolation” for 14 days, without anyone being able to enter or exit.


A source from the Ministry of Migration said that the Malakasa facility currently houses more than 1,700 people.

The ministry said the 53-year-old Afghan man asked for help with the symptoms of the virus at the camp medical center.

He was then taken to an Athens hospital where he tested positive and his family was quarantined.

A screening of the camp is underway, said the ministry. The ministry said it would involve staff, close contact with the sick man and those with suspicious symptoms.

The health ministry ruled out a general screening campaign in the camps, noting that such a process would be costly and impractical.

The first camp outbreak surfaced earlier this week at a Ritsona facility near Athens where 23 people – out of over 2,500 – have so far been positive.

In Greek migrant camps, where tens of thousands of asylum seekers are living in dire conditions, regulations had already been announced in March to keep residents of all camps as far away from the local population as possible.

Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi has warned that asylum seekers who try to break the lock will be prosecuted.

Greece is home to some 100,000 asylum seekers, mostly in camps and in hotel rooms and apartments.

Social distancing is practically impossible as thousands of refugees and migrants jostle in queues for toilets and showers in the camps.

Greece, a country of 11 million people, has so far recorded 73 deaths and 1,735 cases.


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