Following three cases that have been confirmed in the country, Greece announced it will tighten border controls to prevent the spread of coronavirus, focusing on island routes used by migrants to enter the country, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Thursday.
With more than one million migrants having passed through the country in 2015 and 2016, thousands are now living in overcrowded refugee camps which have been described as a “ticking health bomb”.
“Our islands are already overburdened with public health issues and they must be doubly protected,” Mitsotakis, whose administration has taken a tough stance on migration, told a cabinet meeting.
Mitsotakis said he had invoked a European Union directive allowing member states to elevate border security if public health was at risk.
“Putting it simply, we will do whatever it takes to prevent the appearance of the virus – particularly there,” he said, referring to the islands.
Governments ramped up measures on Thursday to battle a looming pandemic of the coronavirus as the number of new infections outside China for the first time outpaced new cases in the country where the outbreak began.
*Main source: Reuters