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Society

More COVID-19 Infections Found in Lesbos Refugee Camp

September 8, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases at the notorious Moria refugee and migrant detention camp on the island of Lesbos has grown to17, leading worries the outbreak could spread in the vastly overcrowded facility holding 18,000 people.

Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said test revealed two more cases were found on the basis of 1,600 samples tested from a total of 2,000 taken from residents at the camp, said Kathimerini.

The facility was locked down  and teams from the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) are testing and tracing to identify any new cases and quarantining those who test positive.

Medical and humanitarian groups said the camp would be cleared of detainees although it's the biggest on five eastern Aegean islands and that the living conditions should be improved so that people can stay safe social distances and follow health measures aimed at slowing the spread of the Coronavirus.

The early August closing of the virus isolation center at the camp generated criticism as it treats other illnesses as well.

In a report, The British newspaper The Guardian said that the charity Médecins San Frontières (MSF) said it was forced to close the center after authorities imposed fines and potential charges.

There are more than 34,000 people in camps and centers on five Greek islands near the Turkish coast, almost all seeking asylum after the European Union closed its borders to them and other countries reneged on promises to help take some of the overload and as a 2016 swap deal with Turkey has essentially been suspended.

The story noted that the doctors treat a number of cases at the center that has been shut, the staff saying it will deprive people of often critically-needed care, including those with serious medical conditions.

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