Six-week old baby becomes ‘one of the youngest lives lost anywhere’ during pandemic

Greece has quarantined a migrant camp after 20 asylum seekers tested positive for coronavirus, the migration ministry said on Thursday, its first such facility to be hit since the outbreak of the disease.

Tests on 63 people were conducted after a 19-year-old female migrant who gave birth in hospital in Athens was found infected, becoming the first recorded case among thousands of asylum seekers living in overcrowded camps across Greece, Reuters reports.

None of the confirmed cases showed any symptoms, the ministry said, adding that it was continuing its tests. (More on that here from our correspondent Nick Squires)

Greece, which recorded its first coronavirus case at the end of February, has reported 1,415 cases so far, and 50 deaths. It is the gateway to Europe for people fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and beyond, with more than a million passing through Greece during the migrant crisis of 2015-2016.

Any movement in and out of the Ritsona camp, which is 45 miles northeast of Athens and hosts hundreds of people, will be restricted for 14 days, the ministry said. Police would monitor the implementation of the measures.

But there are more than 40,000 asylum-seekers stuck in overcrowded refugee camps on Greece’s outlying islands, in conditions that aid organisations say are appalling and which the government itself has described as a “ticking health bomb”.