Malta’s migrant centres have been closed to all except its residents and employees, in a preventative measure taken amid the outbreak of coronavirus.
This comes as MEPs call for the evacuation of all migrant camps across the European Union, following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on the Greek island of Lesbos, home to one of Europe’s largest refugee camps.
The centres are now regularly disinfected, staff have been provided with protective equipment and all who enter or leave are subjected to body temperature checks. These are some of the measures taken by as part of a contingency plan against COVID-19.
Isolation units are also being installed in the case of an outbreak, Ministry of Home Affairs told Times of Malta.
It would be of great concern should the centres face an outbreak of COVID-19, the conditions of which are reportedly below sanitary. Its current capacity does not allow adequate social distancing.
Migrants have also raised concerns on a lack of information provided regarding coronavirus updates in Malta.
The Ministry for Home Affairs says that the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS) is working to provide relevant information on the coronavirus and national measures taken in over 6 languages, whilst also working UNCHR to communicate this through various channels on Whatsapp and Facebook.
The are currently 110 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Malta, three of which were announced today.