On Thursday, the Czech government approved material aid worth 4.3 million korunas (€157,000) to help Greece fight the coronavirus epidemic among migrants after the Greek government requested aid.
The aid will be transported to Greece by the Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic. The supply contains mainly hygienic items, toilet paper, soaps, shampoos, blankets, and sleeping bags. Two trucks with supplies are expected to arrive on Sunday.
“Mutual assistance between states is one of the fundamental principles for success. By no means do we want the situation in Greece to escalate,“ said the Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, adding that the aid is intended for approximately 41,000 migrant minors.
COVID-19 spread in two refugee camps in mainland Greece. For example, in the city of Kirandi, located about 170 kilometers southwest from Athens, 470 migrants have been quarantined at a local hotel for the past week and 148 of them have tested positive for coronavirus.
Migrants from Africa were relocated to the hotel last autumn from overcrowded refugee camps on the Aegean islands after arriving on smugglers’ boats from Turkey. Overall, Greece has over 100,000 registered asylum seekers.
The Czech Republic finances the aid from MEDEVAC humanitarian program which is coordinated by the ministry of interior. Similar aid has already gone to Spain or Italy. The Czech Republic also provided other countries with part of its cargo aircraft capacity to transport material from China.