Greece on Thursday said it would transfer 2,380 migrants from overcrowded island camps to the mainland in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said.
The authorities will initially seek to relocate families and vulnerable groups, the elderly and the ailing, to other camps, as well as preparing hotels and homes for them.
According to Mitarakis, starting after the Orthodox Easter on Sunday, the authorities will transfer the people in small groups over the following two weeks.
“We wish to protect the people in the camps and the population on the islands from the pandemic,“Mitarakis said.
The representative of doctors without Borders on Lesbos, Dimitris Patestos, told dpa that though, Covid-19 had not been reported in camps on the Aegean islands, adding that was only a question of time.
However, after the Covid-19 outbreak, Greece beefed up medical controls on the islands and deployed additional staff and isolation facilities, while limiting the movement of migrants in the camps.
Meanwhile, all new the migrants who came into the country, were subjected to mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Meanwhile, the inflow of the people to the Islands dwindled to a trickle, and the authorities already transferred hundreds of people to the mainland.
This development led to the sinking of population of migrants and asylum-seekers in the main camps from around 42,300 to 38,800 in a month.