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Health Minister Simon Harris (file photo). Leon Farrell/

Simon Harris thanks 160 healthcare workers who live in Direct Provision

There have been 164 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among residents in Direct Provision centres to date.

HEALTH MINISTER SIMON Harris has thanked the 160 healthcare workers who live in Direct Provision for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Harris said: “When we’re thanking frontline workers, we should remember those 160 [people].

“I want to thank them, because some individuals don’t extend a céad míle fáilte to people from other countries.

“I want to thank them for the contribution that they’re making to the Irish health service.”

There have been 164 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among residents in Direct Provision centres, which accommodate asylum seekers around the country, to date.

Harris said a range of measures, including isolation facilities, have been made available to residents.

“I had a meeting with the Department of Justice on this yesterday. A number of offsite self-isolation centres throughout the State such as City West (in Dublin) have been used,” He said.


Harris added that his department is working with the HSE to implement their public health advice at the centres.

“The established procedure across all centres where a person is suspected of having the virus, or is confirmed as having the virus, is that, where advised by public health, they are moved to a dedicated offsite self-isolation facility where supports are available,” Harris stated.

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice and Equality confirmed that 1,700 people living in Direct Provision centres share a bedroom with non-family members.

A spokesperson said on Tuesday that these people are sharing a room with either one or two non-family members in 772 rooms across various centres.

The Irish Refugee Council described the situation as “deeply concerning” and “plainly contrary” to public health advice.

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