Police clear migrant camp near Paris to fight Covid-19

File picture of a migrant camp in northern France. French police removed several hundred migrants from a camp just north of Paris today in the first such move aimed at limiting coronavirus spread among homeless people around the capital. — AFP pic
File picture of a migrant camp in northern France. French police removed several hundred migrants from a camp just north of Paris today in the first such move aimed at limiting coronavirus spread among homeless people around the capital. — AFP pic

PARIS, March 24 — French police removed several hundred migrants from a camp just north of Paris today in the first such move aimed at limiting coronavirus spread among homeless people around the capital.

The migrants began boarding buses in Aubervilliers at dawn, with officials saying they were headed for gyms and hotels in Paris and a nearby suburb.

Prefect Michel Cadot, the government’s top official for the Paris region, announced the evacuation last week estimating that over 500 beds would be found for rough sleepers.

The France Terre d’Asile aid group said 300 to 600 people were living at the Aubervilliers camp, one of dozens that have sprung up regularly in and around Paris since large waves of asylum seekers began arriving in Europe in 2015.

Officials said they would receive medical check-ups to determine if any show coronavirus symptoms.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced yesterday that nationwide orders for people to stay at home would be reinforced in a bid to curtail the outbreak.

He said keeping people from public spaces was necessary to reduce the number of cases in overstretched hospitals. — AFP

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