NEWS

Migrant hotspot near Athens on 14-day quarantine

TAGS: Coronavirus, Migration

The government has put a migrant facility outside Athens on quarantine for 14 days after a 53-year-old Afghan developed coronavirus symptoms Saturday afternoon.

Authorities say the man has been taken to an Athens hospital and is under “full medical evaluation.” They have not specified the seriousness of his condition.

The lockdown began Sunday morning. The facility is called an “open” one in official parlance, meaning the migrants there could leave and enter as they wished.

There are about 2,500 migrants living there, not all of whom are registered, according to Mihalis Hassiotis, a municipal councilor of Oropos, a town north of Athens where the facility is located.

The migrants stay in containers in crowded conditions. Hassiotis says the facility was designed initially for 500 and expanded over the years.

Hassiotis said the migrants _ mostly families _ are calm, so far, but said more medical personnel are needed.

Next to the formerly open camp, there is a “closed,” or locked, facility housing about 1,300 migrants, all arrested since March 1, when Greece closed its borders in response to Turkey's move to open its borders and encourage migrants and refugees to cross over into Greece. These people are detainees and have no right to asylum, as Greece has suspended applications. Hassiotis said they live in large tents, housing 25 each.

[AP/Kathimerini]

Online