Updates on the Coronavirus and our operations – 16.03

A Drop in the Ocean acknowledge that many people worry about the coronavirus in Greece and how it affects the people who live in the refugee camps. This is a particularly vulnerable group and transmission of the virus in the refugee camps will have uncontrollable consequences.

Greek authorities have implemented strict measures across the country to prevent the spread of the virus. All schools are closed, as are cafes and restaurants. In stores only a small group of people is allowed at a time and the pharmacies have been ordered to only let in two customers at a time.

There is now strict control over who is allowed inside the refugee camps, which means that all organizations that have activities where they gather several people in one place have been instructed to stop their work until March 26. So far, no confirmed cases of the virus has been reported inside the camps. However, it is reported that a police officer working in a detention center on the mainland has tested positive.

A Drop in the Ocean has pulled out all our field workers and temporarily stopped our activities. On Friday, our present field workers were advised to return to their home countries. Our coordinators and staff will continue to monitor the situation and try to find solutions to where and how we can contribute. So far, we are working on providing necessary health equipment, medicine, etc.

A Drop in the Ocean is very concerned about what can happen, and we think it is only a matter of time before the virus spread to the camps. We see that many people want to contribute, and volunteers from different European countries have travelled to Lesvos on their own initiative. We strongly advice against this! The virus spreads so quickly and no one can guarantee that they will not transmit it. It will be disastrous if visitors spread the virus among the most vulnerable.

The biggest solidarity action now will be to stay away from the refugee camps, and at the same time continue to work for a political solution to get people out of the miserable conditions in Moria camp, before it is too late.

We constantly follow up with updated information.