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Coronavirus: All direct provision residents and staff to be offered Covid-19 testing

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All residents and personnel in narrate provision centres will almost definitely be supplied Covid-19 testing from Saturday.

In a joint observation on Friday, the Division of Justice and the HSE acknowledged: “In step with the suggestions of the Nationwide Public Health Emergency Crew (NPHET), a comprehensive programme of Covid-19 testing is initiating across all accommodation centres housing asylum seekers and refugees in the Insist.

“This covers residents and personnel in accommodation centres (each and each eternal and transient) and in emergency reception and orientation centres. Testing will roll out across centres from September 12th, 2020.” The testing will almost definitely be voluntary and free.

The commitment comes a month after a document from the Irish Refugee Council stumbled on that bigger than half (55 per cent) of respondents in narrate provision centres did now not feel receive right during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Half of respondents acknowledged they were unable to socially distance from so much of residents; 42 per cent shared a mattress room with a non-family member and 46 per cent shared a bathroom with a non-family member.

One respondent acknowledged: “We could also handiest form out this virus the shriek of social distancing but in the centre there isn’t any social distancing. Residing [with] three/four or more of us in the room is now not [the] ethical contrivance to handbook a ways off from this virus in my peep.

“So staying [in] narrate provision is now not very valid in this time, on epic of if one will get the virus then it will likely be with out shriek unfold out.”

The council used to be among several organisations calling for asylum seekers with underlying conditions to be moved out of congregated accommodation centres, arguing: “Overcrowding and shared rooms [in such centres] is a predominant cause for scenario for these with pre-existing well being conditions.”

Clusters of the virus in narrate provision centres in counties Kerry and Kildare hang heightened issues amid the pandemic.

‘Further challenges’

Of their observation on Friday, the Division of Justice and HSE acknowledged accommodation centres posed “additional challenges right during the pandemic to stop and protect watch over the unfold of the virus”.

They stressed out: “Neither a refusal to grab half [in the testing programme] nor a clear outcome will affect a particular person’s role or utility for global protection whatsoever.

“We strongly support all residents and personnel to grab half to withhold themselves, their families and their communities receive from coronavirus. Every resident and personnel member will almost definitely be supplied a test. Kids old beneath 5 years and of us that hang beforehand examined clear for Covid-19 won’t be examined.”

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