CORK City of Sanctuary (CCoS) has issued an urgent call on authorities to remove vulnerable people from direct provision centres “to avoid a public health catastrophe”.
The movement is calling on the Department of Justice and Equality, and the Department Health to urgently address what it describes as the “fast-developing crisis in Direct Provision centres across the country.” In a statement it said that all immune-compromised or otherwise vulnerable people, as detailed by the HSE, must be “immediately provided with alternative accommodation”, that families with children are provided with their own fully separate accommodation, and that healthy people without families are given en-suite single room accommodation.
It also says all people known to have Covid-19 be immediately relocated to places where they can self-isolate, among other measures.
Mr Mike Fitzgibbon, CCoS said he had serious concerns about the situation, adding that ”it would be difficult to design a more perfect place” for infectious diseases transmission than that of direct provision centres.
CCoS has launched an online petition calling on the Justice Minister to urgently address the issue on Change.org.
It states: “Strong leadership and innovation were shown by Homeless Dublin, who have demonstrated that through a properly targeted approach, hundreds of appropriate sites of accommodation were found in a very short period of time.
"We believe that if a similar approach were adopted countrywide for asylum seekers, then the needs outlined above can be attained, and the approaching catastrophe can be avoided, or at least mitigated."