MSF forced to close COVID-19 centre on Lesbos

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Thursday, July 30, 2020
MSF forced to close COVID-19 centre on Lesbos
  • Local authorities, issuing fines and the threat of criminal charges, have forced the closure of an MSF COVID-19 isolation centre.
  • The closure of the centre in Moria, on the island of Lesbos, could have disastrous consequences should there be a COVID-19 outbreak on the island.
  • We are frustrated by the local authorities’ failure to find a solution to keep the centre open, but are willing to continue discussions on COVID-19 plans for people in Moria.

ATHENS – A COVID-19 isolation centre set up on the island of Lesbos, Greece, by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been forced to close, after local authorities imposed fines with potential criminal charges, related to urban planning regulations.

MSF strongly condemns the authorities’ failure to identify a solution to keep the isolation centre open when there is still a risk of coronavirus COVID-19 spreading through nearby Moria reception centre. There, more than 15,000 refugees are living in overcrowded and unhygienic conditions.

MSF warns that the closure of the isolation centre – which will significantly reduce the COVID-19 response capacity on the island – could have terrible implications should an outbreak occur in Moria. 

Read the rest of the MSF announcement here >>>