Prague houses Covid-positive homeless people in empty tourist hotels

Gustavo Monge

Prague, Mar 2 (efe-epa).- The lockdown and measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 have led to the temporary closure of hotels in the Czech Republic, an opportunity that the mayor of Prague, which has the highest number of infections in the EU and which has seen its tourist visitor all but disappear, has taken advantage of to use the accommodations and house homeless people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

In November, the Czech capital’s city hall discreetly opened the first “Covid house” in a four-star hotel, in order to avoid adverse reactions from local residents.

Three other hotels have been used as quarantine sites since then, with capacity to house 181 people.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs estimates that some 3,250 homeless people live in Prague, and the incidence of Covid among these people is on the rise.

The project is financed by the taxpayer and charitable organizations.

“We get calls from social service centers, such as asylum houses, shelters, humanitarian services, hospitals, and sometimes also police officers who have found someone on the street,” Ludmila Tomesova, from the municipal organization Social Service Center Prague, explains to Efe.

“When we opened the first ‘Covid house’ we thought it would be enough, but February was very, very intense: we tested many homeless people who tested positive and had to be isolated,” adds Tomesova and predicts an “even worse” month of March.

With 1,120 per 100,000 inhabitants, the Czech Republic has the highest 14-day cumulative infection rate in the European Union (EU).

The first “Covid house” with 60 beds is currently home to 25 people, including Denisa Prochazkova, a 28-year-old woman who has struggled with drug addiction problems since the age of 18.

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