Despite Coronavirus, France returns migrants to Northern Italy, one of the most infected areas in the world

Originally published by Bahar Makooi / on 23/03/2020


France continues to return migrants back to Ventimiglia, on the Franco-Italian border, one of the most affected regions in the world. Once these migrants are returned to Italy, their medical care is difficult because most of the local NGOs have stopped their activities due to the coronavirus pandemic. On the French side, a medical unit continues to provide medical care to migrants.Similarly, migrants trying to enter the French territory are now turned away if they do not have a legitimate reason to visit France. France now also denies entry to migrants at the Italian border if they cannot provide a legitimate reason for their visit.On the Italian side, because of the Pandemic, most NGOs have suspended their activities in Vintimille. New migrants are thus left on their own. The only camp that remains is the one by the Red Cross, which houses 250 people outside of Vintimille, but with reduced teams, and only 1 doctor and only providing care in the morning only. Policemen on site 24/7 control access to the site. The French teams of NGOs are not allowed to cross the border into Italy to provide care.To make matters worse, free healthcare clinics were closed in bordering regions, although a mobile unit was created.

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