The Greek federal government is enforcing a curfew on refugees and migrants in the overcrowded Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, as part of its reaction versus the coronavirus pandemic.
The procedures come as Athens prohibits big public needs and events social distancing to suppress the spread of Covid-19, a highly-contagious infection without any recognized remedy.
However in Moria, where some 20,000 individuals are currently stuck in a camp developed for 3,000, the relocation comes in the middle of increased worries of a break out.
The current raft of federal government limitations implies just one individual per family will be permitted to leave daily. They then should return by early night at which point the camp is on lockdown till the next early morning.
According to the Greek Council of Refugees, an NGO, the procedures use to those hosted inside the centers, or approximately a 3rd of the asylum applicants on theisland
Peter Casaer of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), speaking with EUobserver over the phone from Moria, stated the strategies might provoke violence.
“We have some doubts. This might incite acts of violence, we don’t know yet,” he stated on Wednesday (18 March), keeping in mind the federal government strategies were transmitted in numerous languages over speakers throughout the camp.
One tap: 1,300 individuals
Among the main suggestions to avoid break outs is to clean hands frequently. With minimal access to tidy water, the concept falls flat for those in a camp geared up with one water tap for some 1,300 individuals.
“With one tap for 1,300 people? It is not possible, some people don’t have access to soap,” he explained, keeping in mind numerous are required to share camping tents and queue for fundamental services like food.
MSF has a center simply outside the camp that handles psychological health, childcare and other medical services.
With Covid-19 now a global pandemic, Casaer states MSF personnel are preparing “to distinguish possible suspect cases” in Moria.
On The Other Hand, the island’s main healthcare facility in Mytilene just has a couple of beds to separate individuals in case of infection, he stated.
There are no recognized cases of Covid-19 in the camp. Last week a regional Greek Lesbos-island resident checked favorable for the infection.
Over 3,000 got here on the island in January and February this year, much of them households.
Moria has for the past 4 years, together with other smaller sized camps on the Greek Aegean islands, shamed Europe for its callous treatment of refugees, migrants and asylum applicants.
Oxfam, an NGO, in a recent report stated moms and dads hesitate of bathing their children, in fear that they might capture a cold or, even worse, pass away.
Dimitra Kalogeropoulou, the Greece director for the International Rescue Committee, stated the only method to ensure refugees and asylum applicants are geared up to handle the spread of the coronavirus is to transfer them off the islands.
She stated top priority must be offered to unaccompanied minors, households with children, the senior and individuals struggling with existing health conditions.
“Today, more than ever, swift relocation is crucial to protect the health and lives of people trapped on the Greek islands, in light of the Europe-wide developments relating to the pandemic,” she stated, in an emailed declaration.
For its part, the European Commission stated it was not able to comment straight on the Greek propositions on the island.
“It is not in the commission’s ability to assess the appropriateness or not of health related measures that member states are taking,” a commission representative informed press reporters in Brussels.
Efforts to transfer some 1,600 unaccompanied minors looking for defense from Greece to a handful of EU states appear to have actually likewise considering that stalled.
“Propagation of the virus puts a spanner in the works,” stated the representative.