Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
Thousands of refugees and migrants left homeless by a fire at Greece’s biggest camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, will be temporarily housed in a ferry boat, two navy ships and tents, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis told a press conference on Wednesday, confirming that no deaths or injuries have been reported as a result of the blaze.
Mitarakis also said that authorities have been able to locate eight of 35 patients who were being isolated in a special facility just outside the camp after testing positive for Covid-19, triggering a lockdown on the facility. He indicated the fire may have been started deliberately by camp residents protesting the restrictions.
The passenger ferry is expected to arrive on Wednesday night and the two navy boats on Thursday Mitarakis told the press conference in Lesvos, adding that some 3,500 tents are also being provided as temporary shelter.
The minister added that 408 unaccompanied minors will be transferred to the Greek mainland and housed in a camp in the north of the country.
Mitarakis further indicated that the Moria camp, which was destroyed by the fire, will not be rebuilt but will be replaced with a “closed” facility. He did not elaborate on when this would happen or who the new facility would house.
The minister also noted that the police presence is being boosted on the island to prevent the migrants and refugees from trying to make their way to the main town and port of Mytilini.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday lamented recent events at the Moria migrant camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, adding, however, that unrest at the facility should never have reached such levels.
Mitsotakis said that thousands of refugees and migrants who fled overnight fires at the camp will not be permitted to travel off the island, while restrictions will also be imposed on the local community to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
Mitsotakis said over 13,000 people had been moved out of the camp since the beginning of the year, adding that “things would been much worse if the state had not blocked new migrant flows.”
“Checks at our sea borders, which are also European, will continue with the effectiveness that has until now drastically limited illegal entries.”