Refugees and homeless at high risk of coronavirus infection
ROME – The most fragile members of society, such as the homeless, refugees, and those who live in precarious conditions, are at tangible risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus, and neglecting them will worsen the overall epidemiological situation, the International Vincentian Family stated in a press release. The International Vincentian Family have signed a global appeal to protect the homeless from COVID-19.
The petition of the signatory associations requests urgent priority measures for those at risk of infection, including making them a priority in the COVID-19 screening test process, granting them access to safe and hygienic housing that allows for isolation, guaranteeing basic needs including food and health care, and other forms of assistance.
The press release also stated that “a proactive and systematic research policy is needed. For obvious public health reasons, there is an urgent need to conduct Covid-19 tests on homeless people and refugees and to separate those who test positive and thus control the spread of the virus."
Furthermore, “it is necessary to establish structural solutions for access to housing, which has become, more than ever, a public health imperative, in light of the economic impact of the crisis,” read the statement.