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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020
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Coronavirus: Health officials confirm 62 cases in Direct Provision centres

There are nine clusters at Direct Provision centres across the country.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Image: RollingNews.ie

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE confirmed that there are nine clusters of Covid-19 in Direct Provision centres across the country.

Figures provided to TheJournal.ie show there have been 62 cases of the coronavirus among residents in Direct Provision, 11 of which have involved hospitalisation.

Further statistics also showed there are three clusters of Covid-19 among the Roma community, involving 21 cases and 7 hospitalisations.

Those in Direct Provision are asylum seekers, ie, they have applied for international protection. Those that are granted asylum are then classed as refugees.

People in Direct Provision are often in cramped living conditions with shared facilities such as kitchens.

Last week, Ombudsman Peter Tyndall warned that the highly contagious nature of the Covid-19 has highlighted the unsuitability of some accommodation in the Direct Provision system.

On 31 March, the Justice Department announced that more than 650 new beds have been made available for those in Direct Provision during the crisis.

Individuals suspected of having the virus or is confirmed as having the virus are moved to a dedicated offsite self-isolation facility, according to health officials.

The government also announced last week that more accommodation centres had opened to allow physical distancing guidelines in Direct Provision. 

With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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