Greece, with 192 coronavirus deaths, has so far not been as badly hit as many other European countries, and there have been no deaths in the migrant camps.

Health ministry officials newly arrived refugees and migrants at a temporary camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece on May 13, 2020.
Health ministry officials newly arrived refugees and migrants at a temporary camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece on May 13, 2020. (Reuters)

Greece has announced another extension of a coronavirus lockdown on its teeming migrant camps, despite criticism it was misusing the pandemic to limit the movement of migrants.

The lockdown on camps began on March 21 and is now extended till July 19, the migration ministry said on Saturday.

Migrants can leave the camps from 0400GMT to 1800GMT only in groups of less than 10 and no more than 150 people per hour, it said.

Marco Sandrone, coordinator of the medical charity Doctors Without Borders at the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, had blasted these extensions.

"The reason for the lockdown (in the camps) cannot be associated with public health," he told AFP earlier, pointing out that there were no cases in the camps.

READ MORE: Greek move to extend migrant camp lockdown slammed

Greece, with 192 coronavirus deaths, has so far not been as badly hit as many other European countries ... and there have been no deaths in the migrant camps.

But the presence of more than 32,000 asylum seekers on the five Aegean islands, in camps with a capacity of 5,400, has caused major friction with local communities.

The government is transferring thousands of migrants to the mainland, as the country began letting in foreign visitors for the tourist season.

READ MORE: Migrants under pressure as isolation threatens Lesvos camp

Source: TRTWorld and agencies