COVID-19 Response

Our Support at Reception Centres

EMERGENCY began a check-up project at reception centres in Milan

It involves monitoring in shelters for homeless people and unaccompanied migrant children within the SIPROIMI (formerly SPRAR) system, pointed out to us by Milan’s municipal government.

To stop the disease spreading among the most vulnerable people in the country, EMERGENCY began a check-up project at reception centres in Milan. In these specific contexts, following the Ministry of Health’s rules to prevent contagion is even more essential to curb the coronavirus, as these centres are home to people who often cannot get the most basic information.

The project is run by a range of EMERGENCY teams, made up of specialist medical and logistics staff. The teams do sites evaluations in order to:

  • Assess how they have been reorganised to meet the measures recommended by the Ministry of Health to contain the virus.
  • Suggest solutions to the management and the Municipality, in case critical aspects are noted, and provide guidance in the implementation when necessary.
  • Train workers on proper management of spaces, on cleaning and sanitation of places, on hygiene rules, on active observation of guests to spot symptoms, to check their temperature and to provide for isolation if necessary.

As of today, we are operative in 50 facilities detected by the Municipality of Milan.

The project

Our logistics teams offer specialist consultation on prevention and sanitation measures, and on how to manage the dirty-to-clean flow, to make sure the Ministry of Health’s directives are being followed. They also do monitoring and assessment of each facility. The teams verify the distances between each bed and how meals, cleaning, laundry and waste are managed, be it externally, internally or independently, and suggest mitigation measures.

The medical teams, meanwhile, check the health of staff and guests, based on previous check-ups performed by medical and non-medical workers of the facility. They provide technical support to set up and manage properly the isolation of guests, where necessary, and offer consultation on managing medical staff at the centres. Besides, the medical teams control the availability of masks, the different kinds of thermometers, and whether there are the conditions for isolation. They check suspected cases and patients who have resulted positive in swab tests, whether they are still in the facility or have already been transferred. Any measures taken for suspected cases are recorded, alongside those patients are referred to the medical authorities running the emergency.

All monitoring and assessments are written up in reports, in which both teams put forward suggestions and mitigation solutions for the facilities, and indicate whether those ones need to get further help, or require urgent recommendations to be submitted to the attention of the Municipality. Our staff explain the changes the reception centres need to make to protect their staff and guests, and sets out the next steps (follow-up visit, follow-up call or end of intervention). EMERGENCY provides training materials to the staff of the facilities; these include protocols to be implemented and tutorials to be consulted in order to best manage the crisis.

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Programme Data

Location: Milan, Italy

Start of the activities: March 2020

Facilities: 50

Types of Facilities: shelters for homeless people and unaccompanied migrant children within the SIPROIMI (formerly SPRAR) system, pointed out to us by Milan’s municipal government.



(Data correct as of April 2020)

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