COVID Outbreak at Cypriot Refugee Camp, Hundreds Transferred

December 24, 2021

NICOSIA – Cypriot health officials transferred some 600 migrants from the Pournara camp that had been denounced for absymal conditions after 82 detainees there tested positive for COVID-19.

Cypriot lawmakers had a week earlier gone there and said they were appalled at what they found, criticizing the living conditions as inhumane, finding children cramped into containers, solme without beds, The Cyprus Mail said.

Giorgos Koukoumas, a member of the main opposition party AKEL, said there were some 1,000 persons not having a bed to sleep on. Many have to make do in tents and on the floor, he reported.

Public radio station RIK reported the COVID oubtreak and said those removed were taken to the Limnes facility in Larnaca, that supposed to be serving as an isolation war only.

It was originally constructed to host migrants about to be deported after their applications were rejected. However it has been mostly empty since its completition a few months ago, the newspaper said.

Health authorities said they continued testing in the Pournara camp which was designed as a registration camp with a capacity for up to 1,000 people but has been holding around 2,500, many in tents outside the camp.

Cypriot lawmakers alled for a faster processing of asylum claims and better access to education and integration measures and that they were told of drug trafficking and prostitution going on.

In a letter to the Cypriot interior ministry in March, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, urged the Cypriot authorities to bring the reception conditions “in line with applicable human rights standards and ensure that asylum seekers and migrants enjoy effective access to all necessary services,” said InfoMigrants.

The site, citing European Union statistics, said that Cyprus received the largest number of asylum applications in the EU in 2020, in relation to the size of its population.

The numbers have jumped in 2021 with the government reporting in October there had been a 38 percent increase by that time over the previous year when the COVID-19 pandemic then broke out.


NICOSIA - Sunny Cyprus is taking advantage of that source of power in a groundbreaking project bringing solar energy to schools and educational institutions, installing photovoltaic systems in 405 of them with a combined capacity of 4.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


NYC Officials Shutter Furniture Store Illegally Converted to House More than 40 Migrants

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City furniture store that had been illegally converted into sleeping quarters for more than 40 migrants has been shut down by city officials.

ATHENS - The issues to be addressed by Thursday's cabinet meeting also concern the government's overall effort to improve the daily life of citizens, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in his opening remarks to ministers, at the start of the meeting.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Thursday to fulfill Moscow’s goals in Ukraine and sternly warned the West against deeper involvement in the fighting, saying that such a move is fraught with the risk of a global nuclear conflict.

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — A strike early Thursday on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid in Gaza City killed at least 70 people, bringing the death toll since the start of the Israel-Hamas war to more than 30,000, health officials said.

A Pacific storm packing powerful winds and heavy snow is shaping up to be the strongest of the season, forecasters say, as it pushes toward California with potential blizzard conditions in the Sierra and up to 10 feet (3 meters) of snow in the mountains around Lake Tahoe by the weekend.