Shelter for vulnerable people and essential services bolstered

23/03/2020 - 20:12

COVID-19. An extra 385 places are being made available for the homeless, in addition to the 2,200 places in use every day in the city.

As from Wednesday there will be an extra 385 places in shelters for the homeless, in addition to the 2,200 places already in use in the city to tackle the situation generated by Covid-19. Up to 775 more places may gradually be made available, according to needs and the operational capacity of each centre.

The extra 385 places are as follows:

  • Hall 7, Palau Victòria Eugènia, Fira Barcelona: 6,000 square metres, to house 225 vulnerable people in an initial stage, complying with all the safety protocols designed by the health authorities and ensuring food, safety and hygiene.
  • Pere Calafell centre: operational since Friday and currently providing shelter for 58 vulnerable people. The facilities have been adapted to increase distances and apply safety protocols.
  • Dos de Maig centre: due to become operational on Wednesday, with a specific capacity to shelter 72 women, providing a space to avoid abuse and harassment.
  • New facility with 30 places for people who need to stay in isolation under medical instructions and are referred from among the 2,200 places already in use.

An operation to provide hygiene, laundry and meals is also under way to help those most vulnerable, given the closure and reduced opening times of other specific facilities.

All this will be complemented with 200 tourist flats, which will be rented for two months to handle situations that may arise with women victims of male violence, families with young children and vulnerable people staying at different municipal facilities.

ASPB bolstered

Among the rest of the municipal services being ramped up, one notable example is the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB), which has tripled the staff affiliated to its Epidemiology Service (SEPID), from 27 to 83 professionals. It has also extended its opening times for the public and is operating from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week.

Work done by the service includes:

  • Phone support: the number of lines offering support for nursing staff with specific training has been increased.
  • Data collection for cases through notifications from the healthcare system or lab tests, along with study of contacts for each positive case.
  • Constant contact with hospitals, primary healthcare teams and other public and private healthcare facilities in the city.
  • Development of databases to provide indicators for monitoring the epidemic in the city of Barcelona.
  • Follow-up of situations in elderly people’s homes, among health professionals and essential services.