Organisations around the world are insistent that homeless people need better protection from Covid-19.
Street nurses, Médecins du Monde, Médecins Sans Frontières, le Samusocial, la Plateforme Citoyenne, Doucheflux, Bruss'Help, are important in the fight against COVID-19. They, along with many other organisations in Belgium and around the world, are coming together in a global call for common action. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, their aim is to protect those who are deprived of a home; not only those living on the streets, but migrants and those in insecure accommodation. “Protect”, “screen” “rehome” are the key words of this call.
Given their great vulnerability, homeless people must be given priority for Covid-19 screening. These men and women are at very high risk of contracting the virus. Their precarious lifestyle and often already fragile physical condition are aggravating risk factors. The lack of concern for this specific population group can only make the epidemiological situation worse.
To protect themselves and others from Covid-19, people around the world are being requested to wash their hands, maintain physical distancing and isolate when they are unwell. The uncertain living conditions of the many homeless and migrant people in Belgium mean that they are not in a position to respect these rules.
This is why, on Thursday the 16th of April, we launched a call for action to all organisations that wish to join the campaign. A letter has also been sent to the United Nations asking them to make a statement on the subject.
Link to the letter sent to the United Nations
The signatories are all organisations which are actively involved in the fight against COVID-19 by providing medical and sanitary support, housing, social support and protection to people without housing.