Moria refugees to enter makeshift facility after Covid-19 tests

Athens, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- A new facility on the island of Lesbos will on Saturday open its doors to the first groups of people left homeless when a blaze ripped through the Moria refugee camp last week.

Greek migration minister Notis Mitarachi told private channel Skai that the first people to be transferred to the new center will be submitted to Covid-19 tests.

Anyone who tests positive for the virus will be ordered to quarantine in a designated isolated zone in the new facility.

The fire that engulfed the Moria camp late Tuesday evening came not long after 35 people tested positive for coronavirus and were told to quarantine.

The whereabouts of those who tested positive are unknown but they are thought to be among the general population of the camp, sparking concerns that the virus could spread further.

Mitarachi said the Greek islands were unable to bear the responsibility of the migrant crisis alone and called on the European Union to show solidarity.

On Friday, the EU confirmed that German and France, among others, would take in several hundred unaccompanied children from Moria.

Workers continued to set up the new migrant facilities on Saturday morning at a former shooting range just a few kilometers away from Moria.

Greek soldiers have erected tents, which were provided by the United Nations refugee agency.

Each tent has the capacity to accommodate six people, according to local media.

The plans for the makeshift migrant center stirred opposition from local residents and refugees who are calling to be transferred to the mainland.

On Friday, groups of protesters erected barricades to prevent new material from being delivered to the site and tents had to be airlifted in by helicopter.

Moria had been home to around 13,000 people — more than four times the capacity it was designed to accommodate — at the time of Tuesday night’s fire and many families have spent several nights sleeping out on the roads and olive groves around the camp. EFE-EPA


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