Evacuation of asylum seekers as a measure to prevent “many deaths”
EU parliament urges the European Commission to evacuate asylum seekers from the Greek island camps “as both the poor hygienic and living conditions could turn the humanitarian crisis into a public health issue”.
More than 42,000 of asylum seekers are trapped in overcrowded camps on the Greek islands in catastrophic sanitary conditions. Europe is witnessing drastically deepening humanitarian crisis for years. And coronavirus pandemic threatens to make the situation even worse.
On March 17, Greek government implemented preventive measures and put refugee camp under quarantine. Restrictions include the 14-day suspension of visits, also for agencies and organisations providing essential services, of leisure and educational activities inside the camps, and the restriction of non-essential movement, both inside and outside the hotspot. What mean that people got locked down with almost no access the most basic hygienic precautions as washing one's hands and without assistance of medical and care specialists.
As Doctors Without Borders warns , situation in refugee camps prepares “'an ideal breeding ground for a rapid spread' of coronavirus”.
Aid organisations notoriously alarm about that in different camp more that 1,300 people have to share single source of water, up to 160 people on average are having to use one toilet. There is no possibility to isolate and avoid spreading the deased.
Didili Z., MEPs urge evacuation of hotspots on Greek islands to stop COVID-19 spread, https://www.neweurope.eu/article/meps-urge-evacuation-of-hotspots-on-greek-islands-to-stop-covid-19-spread/, [24.03.2020].
MSF: Moria refugee camp 'an ideal breeding ground for a rapid spread' of coronavirus, https://www.dw.com/en/msf-moria-refugee-camp-an-ideal-breeding-ground-for-a-rapid-spread-of-coronavirus/a-52824830, [18.03.2020].
EU urged to evacuate asylum seekers from cramped Greek island camps, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/24/eu-urged-to-evacuate-asylum-seekers-from-cramped-greek-island-camps-coronavirus, [24.03.2020].
EU parliament urges EU to evacuate Greek asylum camps, https://euobserver.com/tickers/147876, [25.03.2020].