Germany, Hungary, Greece battle COVID-19 spread in migrants camps and communities
Migrants across Europe are defying quarantines set up by authorities to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, even turning violent to resist the measure in some cases.
In a migrant center in Suhl, Germany on Monday, roughly 30 migrants blocked the entrance to the dining area to protest against being kept under coronavirus quarantine.
The group even took a child hostage in the process, according to a report by the German news site Junge Freiheit.
The center currently provides a home for approximately 500 migrants.
The migrants quickly turned violent while reportedly waving an ISIS flag, threatening to burn the center down if they were not released.
Police were able to stop some leaving the building after they jumped over a fence.
Most of them were from North Africa and Georgia, according to local police.
Authorities were eventually able to convince the migrants to stand down peacefully.
The situation was the culmination of growing discontent among the migrants.
Over the weekend, they had already attacked German police by throwing objects at them when they were prevented from breaking quarantine.
The German Ministry of the Interior has reported that 13 migrants throughout Germany have been diagnosed with coronavirus infection so far.
Under emergency regulations, applicants for asylum in Germany currently either have to test negative for coronavirus or else agree to be kept in quarantine for two weeks.
Hungary has been less tolerant of immigrants who refuse to submit to quarantine, however.
13 students from Iran who had been legally studying in Hungary were deported this week after they had behaved aggressively toward medical personnel.
The group was caught trying to break quarantine while being held at Saint László Hospital in Budapest, according to another report in Remix News.
It was also reported that the students had thrown chairs out of the ward where they were being kept.
Two other Iranian students were deported for similar offenses on Friday.
They are banned from reentering the Schengen Zone for three years.
Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, has blamed mass immigration on the epidemic.
On Friday, he pointed out that the coronavirus had first appeared in Hungary among Iranian students, and that those students had continued to attend classes despite their university’s advice.
“We have seen that it was mostly foreigners who brought in the disease, and that it is mostly spreading among foreigners,” Orbán said.
“We are fighting a two-front war. One front is called migration, and the other one belongs to the coronavirus.”
Meanwhile, Greece has imposed restrictions on the movement of refugees and migrants living in overcrowded camps on its islands to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Over the next 30 days, people living in camps will be allowed to temporarily exit the facilities only in small groups, every hour between 7 am and 7 pm (05:00-17:00 GMT), to obtain food and supplies from nearby towns and villages, the migration ministry said on Wednesday.
Only one person from each family will be allowed to leave the camps.
Greece had already banned new arrivals at camps since March 1.