Canary Island Immigrants Suffer Freezing Cold Temperatures And Cramped Conditions.
The Barranco Seco police camp, which replaced the Gran Canaria dock in Arguineguín and where immigrants are not supposed to spend more than 72 hours, has in recent weeks become a makeshift centre where hundreds of people have had to self-isolate for up to 10 days.
In the dusty camp, where a succession of tents is just nailed onto the sandy ground, hot food is not served, immigrants cannot shower regularly, it is very cold and humid and is, according to all the sources consulted, an inappropriate place for sanitary isolation.
The responsibility of keeping them there lies with the Canary Islands Health Council, which is the one who, according to the current protocol, should enable spaces to isolate immigrants who test positive away from their close contacts.
The Barranco Seco camp, eight kilometres from the centre of Las Palmas, was hosting about 260 people on Thursday, most of them are from a sub-Saharan origin. All had already exceeded the three days of detention established by law, but, according to police sources, they have been kept there waiting to be assigned another place to quarantine. Isolation of at least 10 days – both for COVID-19 positives and for their close contacts – is a mandatory requirement to enter the Canaries.
As the referral to other available spaces is not being carried out with any speed, the camp has been accumulating people for about two weeks. The covid positives, a minority, have priority, and the Ministry of Health finances hotels for their quarantine, but the management of the negatives that are close contacts, which are the more numerous, require more space.
“It is not always possible to find solutions in an agile way given the number of migrants who continuously arrive on our shores, but health care has always been guaranteed both for covid and for any other pathology that has arisen,” explains a spokeswoman who is counselling the group.
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