Increased awareness of the Coronavirus needed in our Homeless Community – O’Brien

Published on: 10 March 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government, Darragh O’Brien has called for greater awareness to be made to ensure that members of the homeless community are kept up to date on the Coronavirus.

Deputy O’Brien: “Advice is needed on how the self-isolation protocol could work for people who live on the streets and how they can regularly wash their hands. There is also a need for extra medical surveillance for the homeless community given existing respiratory illnesses.

“People sleeping rough are particularly vulnerable because they sometimes are more likely to have a range of existing health conditions and because of their situations they may be unable to regularly wash their hands, nor can they self-isolate if they feel unwell.

“This guidance must set out what measures government is taking to ensure rough sleepers get appropriate health checks, what accommodation will be provided so that people can self-isolate if necessary  and advice for the public on how best they can support people who are homeless during the coronavirus outbreak.

“It is extremely important that the homeless community have access to the most up to date information. The HSE website is the best source of information, however, many of the homeless community don’t have access to the internet, so it is important that agencies have adequate supports to inform,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.

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