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Further tragedy as baby dies, woman miscarries in Polish forests
The Belarus border crisis persists, with medics reporting cases of serious illness and death in freezing temperatures.
Sokolka, Poland – On Thursday evening, Polish medics walked through the thick, gloomy forests covering the Polish-Belarusian borderland searching for refugees and migrants who needed their assistance.
Having received distress calls, the medics from PCPM, the Polish Centre for International Aid, came across a Syrian couple whose arms and legs were wounded, and a man with a strong stomach pain caused by severe dehydration.
They had been hiding in the forests for the past month and a half.
According to the Syrian woman’s testimony, her one-year-old baby died a month earlier in the woods.
Their cases add to a growing number of reports of people suffering from health issues such as hunger and hypothermia as they camp out in the Polish forests near the Belarusian border, hiding from Polish border guards and waiting for a chance to travel deeper into the European Union.
Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the Syrian woman’s claim of her baby dying.
Aid workers say about a dozen people have died around the Poland-Belarus border in recent weeks as a migration crisis escalates; the real number is widely believed to be much higher.
Several kilometres away, in a hospital in the eastern city of Biala Podlaska, Ruba, a 38-year old Syrian woman, was also grieving the loss of her child.
She was pregnant when she crossed from Belarus and entered the unwelcoming Polish woodlands.
It was unclear when she miscarried.
Each time doctor Arsalan Azzaddin, a specialist in internal medicine who is treating her now for COVID-19, asks her the question, she cries.
Ruba came to Poland with her husband and five children.