Thousands of migrants, refugees protest in Lesbos

Clapping and chanting songs, the refugee protesters were boisterous but peaceful.

Some held up signs pleading for help from Germany, a favoured destination for many migrants and refugees who arrive in Greece from the nearby Turkish coast.

Riot police arrived and faced off with the protesters and were briefly pushed back as the sizeable crowd moved towards them.

More than 12,000 people who had been living in and around Moria were left homeless by two consecutive fires on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Greek officials said the blazes were deliberately set by some of the camp’s residents angered by isolation orders issued to prevent the spread of the coronavirus after 35 residents were found to have been infected.

They slept in the open for a third night, some cutting down reeds and using salvaged blankets to make rudimentary shelters to protect them from the night-time chill and the scorching day-time sun.

Others used tents or had just sleeping bags to protect them from the elements.

The camp had been under lockdown due to last until mid-September after the first virus case was identified in a Somali man who had been granted asylum and left the camp, but later returned to Moria from Athens.