Moria camp 7 June 2020 | Photo: picture-alliance/G. Siamidis
Moria camp 7 June 2020 | Photo: picture-alliance/G. Siamidis

On Thursday, a new health center opened up for migrants in the infamously over-capacity Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. It has the capacity to treat 62 people at a time, reports the German news agency dpa.

Moria's new health center is spread across a series of special tents. Within this center, four isolation stations offer the possibility of separating anyone who may become infected with the novel coronavirus. The new center was funded by the Dutch government, said the Greek migration ministry via dpa.

Currently, Moria is home to about 13,000 people - nearly five times its actual maximum capacity. So far, no COVID-19 case has been registered within Moria, but according to a spokesperson for the the non-governmental organization Doctors of the World this would be "just a matter of time."

Positive tests on Chios

Five people in the migrant camp Vial had recently tested positive for the new coronavirus on the neighboring island of Chios. According to dpa, four of those who tested positive were migrants and one was an employee with the European Asylum Support Office EASO.

At the moment, there are about 3,000 people living in Vial, and since the positive cases were detected the whole camp has been placed under strict quarantine. No one has been allowed to leave, and only a few employees have been allowed to enter.

The opening of the new health center at Moria came amid protests and growing tensions on the island, including anger directed at personnel from NGOs working there, according to the journalist Franziska Grillmeier, who lives on Lesbos and writes about the migrant situation in German and English.

Protests against health center

According to the English language Greek online paper Ekathimerini, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou visited the island and the new health facility on Thursday. The president was accompanied by Greece's migration minister Notis Mitarakis. The two politicians also viewed a center for unaccompanied minors next door to Moria as well as the Kara Tepe facility, which hosts asylum seekers.

Protestors, who objected to the opening of the new facility, clashed with police, and the local police chief was also injured, according to Ekathimerini.

The Greek news agency ANA-MPA said that Mitarakis said that the protests had been orchestrated by "a group of 30 or 40 youths."

with dpa, Ekathimerini, ANA-MPA


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