x

Society

Greece’s Refugee Camps Keep COVID-19 Clampdown in Place

Tight restrictions remain in place at refugee camps, centers and hotels holding some 100,000 refugees and migrants across Greece, including more than 38,000 on island, measures aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

People in the facilities are being limited on going in and out with heavy fines for violators and as the New Democracy government had suspended applications for asylum during the pandemic. 

While there weren't any cases reported in the camps and centers on five Greek islands near the coast of Turkey, which has let human traffickers keep operating during an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the European Union, some 150 were reported in a hotel housing refugees and migrants in the town of Kranidi and in at least two other camps on the mainland.

The most cases were in the hotel in the southern Peloponnese region, a run-down resort  converted into a shelter to house about 500 migrants, mainly from Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Voice of America reported.

An aid worker and a member of the hotel's staff have also been found infected. None, though, have shown serious symptoms so far, the report said, but as all were being monitored to keep track.

There was unrest in some facilities and protests from refugees and migrants who said they weren't kept informed about the virus and with the facilities in which they are being kept vastly overcrowded, making it impossible for people to stay the recommended 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) social distance apart from each other. 

Many have been caught sneaking out of the squalid and overcrowded camps, trying to find refuge elsewhere, the report said, which could endanger the government lockdown aimed at controlling the pandemic.

Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi said there's no plans yet to ease the restrictions even as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is said ready to announce a gradual phasing out of the tight measures that closed non-essential businesses.

Mitarachi said migrants caught violating quarantines will be barred from applying for asylum, be fined and sent back to their homelands or Turkey, where they had first gone after fleeing war and strife in their homelands, wanting to use that country as a jumping-off point to get to Greece after the EU closed its borders to them. 

RELATED

ATHENS - The Greek unemployment rate fell to 11.

Top Stories

Columnists

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

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

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.

Video

Biden Hosts Macron amid Friction over US Climate Law (Video)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron are celebrating the longstanding U.

ATHENS – A New Democracy health bill reform was assailed in Parliament by the major opposition SYRIZA and center-left PASOK-KINAL parties who said it will  end the exclusive employment of public hospital doctors Greece is already essentially in a pre-election campaign mode ahead of the mid-2023 polls that has seen Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis under attack on virtually every front and over every proposal.

BOISE, Idaho — As hundreds of students mourned together inside the University of Idaho's stadium Wednesday night, family members of four slain classmates urged them to raise their eyes from grief and focus on love and the future.

ATLANTIC CITY — Believe it or not, an iconic part of the Atlantic City Boardwalk is closing soon.

BRUSSELS — The European Union was edging closer to setting a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil — a highly anticipated and complex political and economic maneuver designed to keep Russia's supplies flowing into global markets while clamping down on President Vladimir Putin's ability to fund his war in Ukraine.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.