As Easter celebrations come to a close after the celebration of Easter Sunday, Greek authorities will begin the gradual transfer of 2,380 asylum seekers and their families from island camps to accommodation facilities on the mainland, the country’s Migration Ministry said Thursday.
The refugees will be moved into centres, apartments or hotels over the course of the next two weeks, starting from April 19. The transfer was made to reduce the risk of refugees being infected by the coronavirus, the ministry says.
Among the 2,380 are 200 people aged over 60, while 1,730 are asylum seekers of all ages with facing chronic illnesses, who will be transferred with their families.
Medical NGOs and human rights groups have persistently appealed to the Greek government for the evacuation of the overcrowded migrant camps.
The Red Cross last month gave aid to multiple volunteer groups that were driven out of the camps from risk of coronavirus exposure. The withdrawal of volunteer groups resulted in disastrous consequences for the migrant camps, leading to a further breakdown of utilities.
Greece have recorded a total of 2,192 coronavirus cases as of April 16, with 102 confirmed deaths. Greece has previously been praised on their handling of the coronavirus, having drastically less cases than their European neighbours.