Greece: stranded on small island, migrant mother gives birth | Health, medicine and fitness

By PANAGIOTIS BALASKAS and COSTAS KANTOURIS – Associated Press

LESBOS, Greece (AP) – Authorities in Greece say an Eritrea woman gave birth on an uninhabited rocky islet after traveling with other migrants from nearby Turkey.

A coastguard official said 29 Eritreans – 24 men and five women – were seen on a patrol near the eastern Greek island of Lesbos on Wednesday. One of the women had just given birth.

They were also rescued and taken to Lesbos, where the mother and baby were treated in hospital.

“They have been spotted by a patrol and are all in good health,” the coastguard official said on condition of anonymity as no official announcement had been made yet.

“The mother and baby are also in good health,” the official said.

The migrants were found on the islet of Barbalias, about three kilometers (two miles) east of Lesvos and about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Turkish coast. Local officials said the baby was a boy.

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Lesvos was the busiest gateway to the European Union during the crisis of 2015-16, when hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fled the war in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

But Greece has steadily tightened its migration policy, and many leaving Turkey are now taking the longer and more dangerous route to Turkey.

Over the weekend, the Coast Guard rescued 108 migrants from a leaking and rudderless sailboat near the holiday island of Mykonos.

Separately on Wednesday, a man believed to be a migrant was found dead in the trunk of a car in an artificial lake near the Greek-Turkish border. Border Patrol officers had chased the vehicle after the driver refused to stop for a highway inspection. Five other passengers, all believed to be migrants who entered the country illegally, and the driver were detained, police said.

Costas Kantouris reported from Thessaloniki, Greece. Derek Gatopoulos in Athens, Greece contributed to this report.

Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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