Scores of migrants at new Greek camp contract virus

Scores of migrants at new Greek camp contract virus

ATHENS-Agence France-Presse
Scores of migrants at new Greek camp contract virus

More than 240 asylum seekers at a temporary camp on the Greek island of Lesbos have contracted coronavirus, the public health agency said on Sept. 21.    

Thousands of migrants have taken up residence in the new tent encampment after fires at the Moria facility - Europe's largest migrant camp - left them homeless earlier this month.    

Six Afghans face prosecution for arson over the incident and were put in pre-trial detention on Monday, though they deny the charges.    

The Eody health agency said in a statement that 243 new infections had been discovered among 7,000 asylum seekers tested at the new camp.    

It added that tests on 120 police and 40 staff at the camp, which was hastily built last week after the fire, had come back negative.    

It took more than a week for most of the asylum seekers to be rehoused in the new tent camp, built on a disused army firing range a few kilometres away from Moria.  

Many migrants were wary of being locked up again after spending months at the notoriously dirty, overcrowded Moria camp - which was put under severe virus restrictions in March.    

Meanwhile, three minors on Samos island were arrested over a fire that broke out in another camp on Sept. 20, officials said.    

Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi told parliament on Sept. 21 that those responsible would "serve their sentence in Greece and will then be deported".    

Mitarachi said a "modern, safe and respectable" new camp would be constructed on Lesbos - even though local officials strongly oppose the facility, demanding the immediate removal of most asylum seekers.