Vial migrant camp on the Greek island of Chios | Photo: Picture-alliance/Photoshot/L.Partsalis
Vial migrant camp on the Greek island of Chios | Photo: Picture-alliance/Photoshot/L.Partsalis

The Vial camp on the Greek island of Chios has been placed under strict quarantine measures again after it was reported that at least 30 migrants had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Greek Migration Ministry announced on Wednesday, October 14 that it would be placing the migrant camp at Vial on the Greek island of Chios under quarantine again, after at least 30 migrants reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the news agency dpa, the quarantine measures will be in place until at least October 21. The ministry said it was now carrying out “extensive health checks.”

This is the second time the camp on Chios has been placed under quarantine. In August the camp was placed under quarantine after first a Yemeni man and a female employee were reported to have tested positive and then three more residents found they had the virus.

Unable to leave camp

In August this year, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR confirmed that there were some 121,400 migrants and refugees in Greece. About 27,700 of those were on the Greek islands and about 3,000 people were thought to be in the Chios camp at the time. At that point the camp was holding about two thirds more than its capacity.

According to Daily Sabah, a Turkish newspaper, all migrants in the camp will be prevented from leaving its confines and only a “small number of staff members may enter the camp.” Daily Sabah estimates that there are currently “over 3,800 asylum seekers living at the Vial camp.”

Coronavirus in Greece

Greece has so far had relatively few cases of coronavirus compared with many other countries in Europe. According to World Health Organization data, between January 3 and October 14 this year, there were 23,060 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 462 deaths.

However, cases in Greece, like in many other countries, are rising. The country recorded the highest number of daily deaths so far this year on October 12, with 13 people dying from or with COVID-19.


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