Thousands at risk of COVID-19 in French camps
“They can’t have showers. They can’t wash their hands. They can’t self-isolate. So all the things we are being told to do, they can’t do.”
Our founder, Clare Moseley, recently spoke to the Independent about the extremely high risk that refugees face in Northern France camps during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the Coronavirus threat brings Europe to a standstill, thousands of migrants have been living in terrible conditions on the French coastline. They have little to no access to basic sanitation and have nowhere to self-isolate. While there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the makeshift camps yet, it is only a matter of time.
Travelling restrictions and fears over Coronavirus have led to a sharp drop in the number of volunteers. Just three were on shift on Tuesday last week, compared to the usual levels of up to 30.
Up to 1,000 refugees are currently living in Calais. Many are risking their lives to attempt dangerous crossings in unsafe inflatable dinghies. The Home Office recently reported that it is dealing with a number of “ongoing small boat incidents” off the Kent coast.
Asked about the risk of coronavirus in migrant camps, Ms Moseley said: “We are not aware of any cases currently but it can’t be much longer, can it?
“They have been through so much they are scared of everything and now this is another thing.
“They do not understand why the world doesn’t care about them.”
We need your help
We are urging anyone who can help to donate money, supplies, or their personal time as volunteers. Some of the most urgent supplies needed include hand sanitiser, non-perishable food, warm clothing, and sleeping tents. You can find more information on what is needed by clicking here.
To keep up to date with the situation in Calais, make sure to keep an eye on our dedicated Coronavirus page, which is being constantly updated.
Photograph credit: PA (extracted from the Independent article)