Italian police with masks | Photo: ANSA
Italian police with masks | Photo: ANSA

Migrants hosted in communities in Italy's northern region of Piedmont are making protective masks for the police amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit the country especially hard.

The initiative was started by migrants in Domodossola and Masera, in Val d'Ossola in the Piedmont region, with help from the Ossola social services consortium.

Around a dozen foreign youths are using sewing machines to make the masks, most of which will go to the police after the SIULP union announced that many policemen were going without. Others produced will go to those in need in Ossola.

On Wednesday, at the Ossola social services consortium, 117 masks were given to the department responsible for emergency management.

No protective equipment for migrant reception workers?

While in Domodossola migrants are making masks for the police, in Italy's northeastern port city Trieste the Italian 'solidarity consortium' ICS -- involved in managing migrant reception in the area -- noted that the association had had issues getting ahold of personal protection equipment (PPE).

"For the past two weeks," ICS noted in a statement, the association had been "constantly searching for protection equipment, especially masks, even through the private sector, but every attempt was in vain and the number of masks found and delivered to the workers most at risk is insufficient."

It added that it had ''repeatedly noted this situation to the prefect's office'' but that nothing had yet been done.

"It is nice to hear that the regional government intends to distribute two masks to every inhabitant, migrants included, with an organizational effort that must be substantial," ICS said. "However, it is necessary to note that, at the moment, priority objectives that are much more limited have not yet been met and that the serious situation described above has remained unchanged over the course of several days." 

 

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