Greece quarantines second migrant camp after COVID-19 case confirmed

FILE PHOTO: A migrant hangs a blanket to dry in the Ritsona camp after authorities found 20 coronavirus cases and placed the camp under quarantine, following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ritsona, Greece, April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Greece has quarantined a second migrant facility on its mainland after a 53-year-old man tested positive for the new coronavirus, the migration ministry said on Sunday.

The Afghan man who lives with his family at the Malakasa camp, along with hundreds of asylum seekers was transferred to a hospital in Athens and tests on his contacts will continue as authorities try to trace the route of the virus.

Greece confirmed 62 new cases of COVID-19 later in the day, bringing the total in the country to 1,735 since its first case wes reported in February. Seventy three people have died. 

Last week, the Ritsona camp in central Greece was sealed off after 20 tested positive for the new coronavirus. It was the first such facility in the country to be hit since the outbreak of the disease. 

A separate, enclosed facility started operating last month for migrants who arrived after March 1, the ministry said. 

Greece has imposed a nationwide lockdown and banned arrivals from non-EU countries as well as Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain. The measures have hit its economy which is relying on tourism for a recovery after a decade-long debt crisis.

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