A Greek hotel being used by the United Nations as an asylum center has been quarantined after 150 migrants and staff tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus, according to reports.
The U.N. International Organization for Migration has been using the Porto Heli hotel in Kranidi, Greece, as a ‘temporary accommodation facility’ for nearly 500 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.
“The hostel is home to many single-parent families, coming mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon,” InfoMigrants reports. “The facility is managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).”
After a pregnant Somalian woman tested positive for the Chinese virus, all residents and workers were screened for infection.
At least 148 migrants, one staffer, and one IOM ‘aid worker’ were found to be carrying COVID-19.
Greece's Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said there is “no reason [to] panic,” during a press conference, claiming, “the measures [we have taken] are adequate to contain the spread of the disease."
The entire town of Kranidi has now been placed under a strict 15-day lockdown, which affects all local residents.
“It is very important for these people to receive continued support and assistance,” said Gianluca Rocco, who heads IOM operations in Greece.
“They should not feel at any moment that they are left alone or neglected, especially during this difficult period. Stigmatization and discrimination against migrants during the pandemic are not only harmful to migrants themselves, but also to the society as a whole, and may jeopardize efforts made to prevent or mitigate the spreading of the virus.”
The IOM has vowed the hotel will ensure migrants are well-fed, and IOM workers “will continue to deliver meals suitable for toddlers, as their parents are unable to access to local markets.”
It is unclear if any additional services or accommodations will be provided to natives of Kranidi during the lockdown.
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(PHOTO: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst