GREECE’s migration ministry has approved a plan to move 2,380 migrants from reception centers located on its Eastern Aegean islands to hotels and apartment accommodations on its mainland.
The plan, which comes as European economies suffer massive losses as a result of the Wuhan coronavirus, is being organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations. The European Union will foot the enormous bill as Voice of Europe has reported on.
The transfer of 200 migrants over the age of 60 and their families along with 1,730 migrants with prior ailments and their families, began on April 19th and will be conducted over a two-week period, according to a report from InfoMigrants.
During an online press conference, the head of the Greek branch of the IOM Gianluca Rocac said that “hoteliers are interested in housing migrants at this point for a limited amount of time, while the ongoing UN program to house refugees will continue as well.”
Rocca said that the IOM will do its best to provide accommodations for 5,000 migrants over the next two months, adding that one of the most pressing issues is to find jobs for the migrants after the virus crisis is over.
At present, it’s not exactly clear just how much the transfers and accommodations will cost EU taxpayers.
As of this report, no cases of the COVID-19 virus have been recorded in any of the camps on Greece’s eastern Aegean islands of Lesbos, Samos, Chios, Leros, and Kos, outbreaks of the virus have occurred at two camps on Greece’s mainland.
On Tuesday, Greek health authorities annouced that more than 100 migrants who are being housed a hotel on the country’s mainland have tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus.