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World News

Greece reports 17 coronavirus cases in Moria migrant camp

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has registered at least 17 cases of coronavirus in the overcrowded migrant camp of Moria on the island of Lesbos so far, a migration ministry official said on Monday.

Last week, the facility was placed under quarantine after authorities confirmed that a 40-year-old asylum-seeker had tested positive for the coronavirus.

So far, 1,600 tests have been conducted in Moria, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi told Alpha TV.

Since March 1, all migrants reaching Lesbos have been quarantined away from the island’s camps.

The Moria facility, which hosts more than 12,000 people - more than four times its stated capacity - has been frequently criticised by aid groups for poor living conditions. Most recently, aid groups have warned that social distancing and basic hygiene measures are impossible to implement in the camp due to the conditions.

Late on Monday, Greek authorities said that three more migrant facilities had been quarantined: the Eleonas camp in Athens, the Malakasa camp just north of Athens and the facility in Schisto, near the port of Pireaus.

Greece has recently seen a surge in coronavirus cases. It has recorded 11,524 cases since the first infection surfaced in February, and 284 COVID-related deaths.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Leslie Adler

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