The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) welcomes the Premier’s announcement this morning that reusable and disposable masks will be provided to a range of community organisations, including the ASRC, to help protect the highly vulnerable people they support.
With no access to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 safety net and financial support packages, people seeking asylum are more vulnerable than ever before.
The current pandemic continues to expose this, and with no income, access to personal protective equipment is limited.
People who are already at breaking point are at increased risk of destitution, hunger and deteriorating health while also being exposed to a heightened risk of the health impacts of COVID-19.
The ASRC has seen a three-fold increase in demand for its services through the pandemic. But the ability to access these services by vulnerable people is made more complex if people can’t leave their home as they have no face mask.
CEO of the ASRC, Kon Karapangiotidis noted “we welcome the Premier’s recent announcement regarding face masks – it comes at a critical time. Right now, people have told us they are scared to leave their home or are unable, as they do not have the means to source a mask.
This exacerbates people’s fears and the traumas of isolation and is a barrier to people accessing the critical care they need for themselves and their families.
This means they can’t access our services, or leave their homes for one of the four approved reasons, like the rest of the community.
We’re committed to protecting all our people, and have been sourcing thousands of masks, both reusable and disposable. But the need is great – more must continue to be done to support the most vulnerable in the community from the impacts of COVID-19”, he said.
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