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Three-quarters of Moria refugees moved to new tent camp

September 19, 2020

Around 9,000 asylum seekers have been moved to a temporary camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, 10 days after a fire destroyed the notorious Moria camp. Many resisted initially, fearing that they would get stuck there.

Refugees moving to a new camp on Lesbos
Image: Petros Giannakouris/AP/picture alliance

The Greek government said Saturday it has moved around three-quarters of the 12,000 people who had been stuck around the fire-ravaged Moria camp without shelter, sanitation, or access to food and water.

No one was hurt in the blaze on September 9, which destroyed the camp where thousands of people from Afghanistan, Syria and various African countries, had been living.

About 9,000 people had been resettled in the new tent camp, set up by authorities at Kara Tepe near the port of Mytilene, by Saturday morning.

A few hundred had also moved into a community center managed by a non-governmental organization.

Read more: For many migrants, the dream of freedom ends in Lesbos

Virus tests carried out

Those entering the camp were being registered and tested for the novel coronavirus. 

At least 214 were placed in quarantine after positive tests for COVID-19.

Greek police began escorting people into new tented accommodation on Thursday,although many resisted initially, fearing that they would get stuck there permanently.

The fire was allegedly caused deliberately by residents of the camp following a dispute with camp authorities over coronavirus restriction measures.

The UN refugee agency has warned Greece that the new camp can only be temporary, saying on Friday that "what may be deemed adequate in terms of shelter and services during emergency situations is not appropriate for the longer-term".

bk/mm (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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