The camp, known as the Harmanli facility, is located near the Bulgarian border with Turkey and has been in operation for a number of years. Of the 3,000 current residents, most of whom are looking to move on to Western Europe, 128 of them have been diagnosed with serious illnesses from skin diseases to viral infections and even small pox, reports Die Welt.
Many of the migrants who travelled through Turkey to Bulgaria come from Syria where a strain of a flesh-eating skin disease had become rampant; though there are no reports of it in the camp, authorities remain cautious.
The quarantine was initiated in reaction to a protest by nationalists who raised concerns that many of the migrants were spreading diseases and harassing locals in the area.
Bulgaria is one of the poorest nations within the EU and at the forefront of the migrant crisis. Earlier this summer, the government demanded €160 million to secure its border with Turkey. Despite the lack of funding, some Bulgarian citizens have taken it upon themselves to patrol the border.
One such man is Hristo Atanasov who heads the “organisation for the protection of Bulgarian citizens.” The group, and others like them, patrol the borders in their spare time looking for migrants and turn them over to police when apprehended. The patrol insists they have had great success with what they term “healthy walks” along the border.