Athens, Sept. 17, 2020 (Reuters/Naija247news) Greek Police moved hundreds of migrants, stranded on the island of Lesbos, into a new temporary tent camp, over a week after a fire razed the country’s biggest migrant camp, where they had been staying.
“The Police operation launched on Thursday, including 70 female officers, was intended to provide migrants with shelter, food and to protect public health,’’ government spokesman, Stelios Petsas, told newsmen.
A Reuters witness said that the operation began with many officers in white body suits, things are calm and migrants are slowly streaming into the new camp.
The fire that gutted the Moria facility a week ago left over 12,000 people, most of them refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and various African countries, without shelter, proper sanitation or access to food and water.
Authorities said the fire was started by migrants.
However, no one was hurt.
The new temporary tent camp at Kara Tepe, near the island’s port of Mytilene, is ready to take in no fewer than 8,000 people.
However, officials have said that some of the migrants were reluctant to move to the new camp as they hoped to leave the island.
Reuter’s images showed groups of migrants carrying their luggage in shopping carts walked to the camp.
“The operation will continue until all those who are on the streets are sheltered,’’ a police official said, declining to be named.
Early on Wednesday, only 1,200 had moved voluntarily but more streamed in later in the day.
“By Thursday, the Kara Tepe tent camp housed 3,000 and 77 migrants had been found COVID-19 positive,’’ a government official said.
Petsas said it was a matter of a few days for migrants to be completely resettled.
Government ministers have said authorities would continue for some more days in good faith and communication to convince the migrants to enter the new camp.
They, however, expected their transfer to be completed within a few days.