Mauro Palma, Italy's national guarantor for detained people, has confirmed that there has been a coronavirus case at a CPR in  northern Italy | Photo: ANSA/Annalisa Antonucci
Mauro Palma, Italy's national guarantor for detained people, has confirmed that there has been a coronavirus case at a CPR in northern Italy | Photo: ANSA/Annalisa Antonucci

The Italian interior ministry has asked all prefects to monitor the health of migrants at repatriation centers to prevent an outbreak of Codiv-19. One coronavirus case at a CPR in northern Italy was confirmed last week.

The Italian interior ministry has ordered prefects to "constantly monitor the health condition" of the residents in migrant repatriation centers (CPRs) in a letter signed on March 26 by the head of the ministry's Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration, Michele Di Bari. The goal, according to the document, is "to quickly detect possible symptoms of Covid-19."

Prefects have also been ordered to ensure that migrants at the CPRs have the "appropriate material for care and hygiene" and are "carefully informed about measures to adopt to prevent contagion from the virus, guaranteeing maximum care in cleaning all areas [of the center.]"

CPRs are centers where migrants are held when they are about to be deported.

Phone calls with families must be guaranteed

Newly admitted migrants need a medical checkup to "rule out Codiv-19 symptoms," the ministry said in its letter. New guests should also reside in "separate lodgings for a period of at least 14 days." 

In case of "ascertained need," given that cell phones are not permitted in lodgings, the document urged prefects to ensure that those in detention can call family members given they cannot receive visits under stringent measures currently in place in Italy to fight the pandemic.

One case of Covid-19 confirmed at CPR

Mauro Palma, Italy's national guarantor for detained people, confirmed that a person tested positive for coronavirus at a CPR in Gradisca d'Isonzo, in the northeastern region of Friuli Venezia-Giulia, in his daily bulletin on the coronavirus emergency released on March 27. The person is currently asymptomatic and in isolation, he said. Palma added that he was in contact with the local prefect and the interior ministry to evaluate the situation. He said that he was reassured that proper measures were "implemented for the protection of the other guests."
 

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