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Coronavirus: ombudswoman calls on govt to improve condition for migrants

The centre in Kokkinotrimithia

Ombudswoman Maria Stylianou Lottides called on the interior ministry on Thursday to improve conditions at two migrant reception centres, which she had inspected earlier this month to assess living conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the shortcomings in Kokkinotrimithia were tents flooded by recent rains because they lacked proper flooring.

“It is immediately required to expedite completion of the construction works for the expansion and configuration of the centre so that it can become fully operational,” Lottides said in a report published Thursday, following a recent visit to the facility.

Lottides also asked for medical care on a daily basis and not having a doctor visit every other day as was the existing practice. Two nurses were on duty around the clock and special protocols were in place if there was a coronavirus case. So far there have not been any.

The number of migrants staying in Kokkinotrimithia was currently at 50 per cent of the camp’s capacity “but in no case should there be overpopulation, considering it has been turned into a closed centre from reception centre temporarily as part of measures to fight the spread of the virus.,” Lottides said. Kokkinotrimithia can host about 1,000 people with recent extensions.

As regards Kofinou, Lottides said the two nurses need to be reinforced so that there was medical staff at the centre around the clock. The doctor’s hours must also increase at the centre. The nurses work between 7am and 1pm while the doctor visits twice a week. Kofinou has space for 400 people but it is being upgraded to host 600.

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