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ATHENS — Greece’s squalid island migrant camps, designed to hold 6,000 people, instead hold 37,000. At the largest of those camps, three state doctors deal almost exclusively with screening newcomers. Aid workers say that social distancing — or any of the other steps necessary to contain a possible coronavirus outbreak — is virtually impossible. In parts of the camp, there is only one water tap for every 1,300 people and no soap, according to Doctors Without Borders.

No cases have yet been detected among migrants at the camp, although that may be the result of a lack of testing.

But the Greek government Tuesday placed the camps under lockdown, barring volunteers and visitors and discouraging migrants — who live in tents pitched one next to the other — from moving around. Meanwhile, it has not taken steps to reduce the population or limit congestion, even while banning gatherings of more than 10 people in the rest of the country.

Greek aid workers say the new measures at the camps are problematic, sealing off massively overcrowded places where sickness is already widespread and rarely tested for.

“About 80 percent of the people that we see come to us with respiratory symptoms and fever,” said Siyana Mahroof-Shaffi, founder and director of Kitrinos Healthcare, which operates inside the largest camp, known as Moria. “It is very hard to know who might be positive, as there is no coronavirus testing in the camp.”

“If the coronavirus hits the camp, a great percentage of people will get it. And a large number of those may die. It is like a time bomb ticking,” Mahroof-Shaffi said. “If it hits the camp, there is no way of containing the virus, and it will also likely spread to the Greek population on the island.”

The Moria camp, on the island of Lesbos, has more than 19,000 people, many of whom live in tents that have spread into olive groves beyond the official camp gates.

One migrant, Zahra Mousavi, 17, from Afghanistan, said that the camp has posted instructions about how to prevent the coronavirus but that they are impossible to adhere to — including a step as simple as washing hands.

The lines for food, which can last for several hours because of the camp’s overcrowding, also present a problem.

“We are standing next to each other,” said Mustafa Dahadori, 17, from Afghanistan. “Some people wear masks, but I don’t know how they got them. Nobody gave us masks, and in my family we don’t have one. We know it is good to stay away from others, but it is impossible.”

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