Refugees stranded at Greek border vulnerable to coronavirus - report

As Turkey has adopted measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, thousands of asylum seekers gathered at the land border with Greece are still exposed its risks, the Voice of America (VOA) said on Monday.

Thousands gathered at the border after Turkish authorities said in February they would no longer stop migrants trying to get to Europe. Turkey said the European Union had failed to keep to pledges it made in a refugee deal signed in 2016, which promised Turkey billions of euros in financial aid in return for curbing the flow of migrants to Europe.

Refugees are now camping in squalid conditions with poor sanitation and healthcare services at the border area and bus station in Istanbul, making them one of the groups most vulnerable to the coronavirus, VOA said.

“Nothing was done to protect us from this,” VOA quoted one of the refugees as saying. “We asked just for masks and they did not even respond.”