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  • Migrants from the Greek Islands wait to be transferred to the European continent, Greece, April 5, 2020.

    Migrants from the Greek Islands wait to be transferred to the European continent, Greece, April 5, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 8 May 2020
Opinion

Migrants are surviving in crowded spaces and with no access to food or medical care.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Friday warned about the increase of COVID-19 cases in refugee camps in the Greek Islands.

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"We cannot allow the disease to spread in the migrant camps, which are located in the European country’s border areas. It would be a catastrophe," IOM director Antonio Vitorino urged.​​​​​​

To contain the spread of the disease, IOM requested access to the country's camps and border areas to assess the health situation.

Once this United Nations agency has access to these centers, it will implement physical distancing-related regulations.

The IOM official recalled that the COVID-19 health crisis is not exclusive to the Greek camps, for thousands of people are at risk in shelters worldwide.

In many countries’ border zones, migrants are currently stranded in unhealthy conditions and crowded spaces, and with no access to food or medical care.

Although Greece’s improvised camps are designed to house 6,000 people, they are holding up to 40,000, according to Vitorino.

On Friday, the Greek Parliament will vote on amendments to the laws on migration and asylum, which could make the search for asylum more difficult in this European country.  ​​​​​

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