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COVID-19

PSA prioritizes the safety of street dwellers

May 2, 2021 4:41 pm

The homeless on the streets of Suva are at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 and can be a carrier as well, due to their interaction with the public.

The Psychiatric Survivors Association is now mobilizing whatever resources they have to protect these street dwellers from becoming COVID victims.

Association Manager, Sera Osbourne says they target 45 to 50 individuals per day for screenings among other support services.

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She adds her team also conducts hand sanitizing, screening or temperature checks is a must before these street dwellers are given meals.

“It is important for us to continue screening them after we had found a handful of them around the yellow zones. Not because they’re moving around, but because it is their right as well – right to health as well as ensuring that no one is left behind.”

Street Dweller, Milika Roro who has been in the street for a year now, says the past few days has been a challenge but still vouch for something to be grateful for.

“We count this place as our second home since most of us have been neglected from our homes. Sometimes, the public intentions towards us always look at us in a bad way, but I would like to tell them that we have changed.”

Osbourne says they’re part of the Disability COVID Response Committee and have been conducting this visitation over the past 11 days.

The Association plans to provide more personal protective equipment during this lockdown period but believes it can only happen with support from the relevant authorities.

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