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Slovakia: COVID-19 still spreading in Roma settlement, quarantine center will be built there and across-the-board testing undertaken

11.5.2020 14:32
In the Romani settlement of Dreveník in Žehra, Slovakia, a quarantine center is being erected to which infected people and their loved ones will be relocated. (9 May 2020). (PHOTO: Facebook page of Peter Pollák)
In the Romani settlement of Dreveník in Žehra, Slovakia, a quarantine center is being erected to which infected people and their loved ones will be relocated. (9 May 2020). (PHOTO: Facebook page of Peter Pollák)

In the Romani settlement of Dreveník in the town of Žehra the novel coronavirus is continuing to spread and the settlement remains quarantined with 25 cases. The Slovak Government's Crisis Team has decided to take further steps to halt the spread of COVID-19 there.

The settlement will be divided into four zones. In three of them, across-the-board testing is beginning, while in the fourth, those who are infected will be relocated for quarantine along with their loved ones.

The quarantine center is being erected on the grounds of the local school, where there are 11 container units available and where four more will be installed this week. "The quarantine facility is being built out of the existing primary school, which will serve for quarantine, as will the containers where these people will be accommodated," MEP Peter Pollák, a member of the Permanent Crisis Team, told the media in Slovakia.

The capacity of the quarantine center is 100 people, and today 68 people should move in there. The Crisis Team is leaving the remaining capacity in reserve.

Those being quarantined only have to pack their personal items for the relocation. The facility will provide them the rest of what they need to be comfortable during quarantine.

"Comforters, pillows, blankets, tables, chairs, showers, toilets and a communal kitchen facility will be there," the MEP said. There will also be staff present at the quarantine center.

Field social workers, a nurse, paramedics, police officers and soldiers will all be on hand. The four sectors were established by the Crisis Staff in order to organize across-the-board testing.

In three of the sectors, gradual testing of the inhabitants was scheduled to begin today. The fourth sector is where the quarantine center is being erected.

It will not be possible for inhabitants to go back and forth between the fourth sector and the other three. The entire Crisis Team strategy is based on maximum cooperation from the residents of the settlement.

"It is actually very important that everybody be tested and that everyone with a positive test goes into quarantine," the MEP said. According to Regional Public Health Officer Renáta Hudáková, the quarantine area in the settlement should eventually slowly diminish in size.

Everything hinges on the results of the testing. "All of this depends on how the tests turn out. It depends how people will approach the testing. It will also depend on how many positive cases there will be in a given locality. It has to be clear that the only people left in the three sectors are those who tested negative," Hudáková said.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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COVID-19, Peter Pollák, settlement, Slovakia



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