After First COVID-19 Case in Moria Refugee Camp, Greece Imposes Dangerous Quarantine

Greece 2020 © Enri CANAJ/Magnum Photos for MSF

After the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Moria refugee camp on September 2, Greek officials have imposed a quarantine that prevents anyone from entering or leaving the camp. This effectively traps people in dangerous conditions. The site is extremely overcrowded, holding 13,000 people in a space designed for 3,000. For months, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and others have been calling for the evacuation of all residents of the camp, located on the island of Lesbos. “Absolutely no one can keep social distance,” says Caroline Willemen, MSF project coordinator. “There are not enough water and sanitation facilities for people to wash their hands on a regular basis.” Most of the people living in the camp are migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers trying to find safety in Europe. More than 200 of them have been identified as particularly at risk for COVID-19 due to their age or underlying medical conditions.