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Austria Sending 181 Container Shelters for Refugees in Greece

Αssociated press

A police officer speaks to various people running the Ritsona refugee camp , about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Athens, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

VIENNA - Austria – which closed its borders to refugees and migrants – will send Greece 181 containers as shelters for them after 21 cases of the COVID-19 Coronavirus were found in two camps where they are being held far north of Athens.

Some containers could also be used as mobile healthcare facilities and were sent after a request from Greece's New Democracy government, the Ministry of Migration said as other European Union countries refuse to take some of the overload of 110,000 in Greece.

"The cooperation of the two governments aims at the timely preparation for dealing with possible consequences from the combination of the migration crisis and the pandemic," the ministry said in a press release, after a video conference between Alternate Migration and Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos and Austria's Interior Minister Karl Nehammer.

Other EU countries have either essentially ignored or rebuffed Greece's call for help with the refugee and migrant crisis that comes during the virus crisis that came as an economic and austerity crisis was winding down and the country beginning to slowly recover.

The current and former EU commissioners in charge of migration, both from New Democracy, have done little to help and not taken other countries to court to make them live up to former pledges to help take in some refugees and migrants.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis repeated that call but been ignored as well as he tries to deal with multiple crises.