Syrian health officials continue to deny that coronavirus has trespassed the Syrian border. But with over a million refugees living in compromised conditions without sufficient food or medical care, it is unlikely that situation will prevail, if in fact they are not lying. Given that Syria & Russia are bombing the refugee camps & medical facilities, it’s unlikely health officials know what’s going on health-wise with the refugees. Just the threat of coronavirus gives Turkey another justification for maintaining the lockdown on the border against safe passage of Syrians into Turkey.
The EU & European fascist & nationalist forces are already making the case against refugees from Turkey into Greece by claiming they might be carrying the virus. It would be surprising, given their health, housing, nutritional conditions & high levels of stress, that some of the refugees were not vulnerable or carrying the virus. There may or may not be coronavirus cases in Syria but there certainly are in refugees coming from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan. That is no good reason to prevent them from entering Greece but speaks to the urgent need for medical, housing, & food programs to assist them in seeking asylum in Europe. Instead, what refugees are faced with in Greece is squalid overcrowded concentration camp conditions that breed not just disease but demoralization. Just because the EU, fascists, & nationalists vilify refugees for suffering health problems, that is no reason for human rights activists to back off demanding open borders. No human being is alien to us.
The photo is a refugee & his little girl arriving in Lesbos, Greece on February 29, 2020.
(Photo by Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty)