Our translation of the Regensburg Digital article from 30 May, 2020 “Kritik an Regierung im Umgang mit Masseninfektionen”
Dozens of Corona infections in refugee accommodation (“GU” = Gemeinschaftsunterkunft)
Criticism of how Government is Handling Mass Infection
By Martin Oswald (translation: BgA)
Due to massive Corona outbreaks in a Regensburg communal accommodation and in an AnKER center – ca. 100 infected after 200 tests – several initiatives protested in front of the accommodation on Dieselstraße on Thursday afternoon. They criticized the hesitancy of the persons in authority (known infections already by the end of March) to protect people tested positively and negatively and the political practice of central accommodations in “Sammellager” (communal camps).
The further you go Northeast on Zeißstraße, the sandier, the dustier the street gets. The wind is swirling trash into the air, parked trucks on both sides of the street. Military barracks all around. At the end of Zeißstraße, you enter Dieselstraße. Wholesale, industry, junk, rubbish, and laser tag. In between and a stone’s throw from the railroad tracks: two houses, quite recently built, resembling Regensburg’s Marina Quartier – a cheaper version of course.
Dozens of infections in Regensburg’s refugee accommodations
In this communal accommodation, 87 corona tests were made, 42 persons were positive. Probably, many more might be infected since 200 people have not been tested yet. In the AnKER camp (Pionierkaserne), 56 out of 127 tested were positive.
Already by the end of March, the government of Oberpfalz knew about “single cases” of people infected with COVID-19 in the Dieselstraße accommodation. Meanwhile those tested positive were isolated in provisional wooden sheds in a hall on Zeißstraße. All the others were in quarantine as from 19 May. The people were not allowed to leave the accommodation anymore. The AnKER center was under quarantine, too.
“Stop forcing people to live in camps!”
On 30 May, an association of several Regensburg initiatives held a protest in front of the GU on Dieselstraße. Approximately 70 people came. They wanted “to show solidarity with the refugees”. They demanded “tests for all the inhabitants” of the GU, an immediate “separation of all people tested positive from those tested negative,” and “the end of forcing people to live in camps.”
Trains interrupted the speeches. Speaker: Youssouf Issakha (Campus Asyl). Foto: bm
Securities guarded the fences in front of the GU and were to prevent people from entering it. The fences were covered with blankets of the security firm. Looks insight were unwanted. … There is no noise control. Therefore, the speakers were permanently interrupted by passing trains.
Inhabitants of the camp: “we are afraid of each other every day”
Gotthold Streitberger (BI Asyl) is talking about the “mass infection of refugees” and the “high risk” in GUs. The general population has to stick to “strict and necessary corona rules but in the camp there are ca. 300 people living closely together in multi-bed rooms and common kitchens.”
One inhabitant of the Lager confirms that:
“As a young man without family I feel lonely during this pandemic because I cannot talk to anyone about this. I feel sympathy for families during this pandemic. They have children and I can see the fear in the faces of the parents. That we have to share the kitchen with people tested positive scares me even more. There is no information, no shoulder to lean on. I am living in a room with four other people. We are afraid of each other every day. Fear became our friend. We are strolling around this place, positive and negative tested people, all at the same place.”
Government information sheet predated?
During the protest multiple people from inside the Lager are shouting “yes”. In the end, there was applause. Many inhabitants were standing by the windows on the balconies and were listening to the protest. Several refugees were standing behind the fences. They manage to put an information sheet about hygiene measures in front of the cameras. It was handed out recently by the government which was predated (the sheet said it was handed out on 18 May – one day before the quarantine).
“This is Fraud”. Foto: bm
Herman Josef Eckl(Campus Asyl) declares that the refugees “need for protection” is not met in the GUs … He is talking about a “especially precarious situation.” It is difficult to receive information and the distance rules cannot be kept. He emphasizes that the refugees are not able to “stay in touch with the outside world” because they have no Wi-Fi … Therefore, a stable connection to Wi-Fi is absolutely necessary.
“The government is not putting into practice infection protection rules”
Karin Prätori (BgA) is demanding “the immediate dissolution of every camp and is demanding the accommodation in single rooms.” The government is acting “irresponsibly and gambles carelessly with people’s lives.” The infection protection rules “are not put into practice.” They had two months to “accommodate people in other places and to really protect them.”
Even “during the pandemic,” the government does not want to distance from their “restrictive and inhuman policy – a policy that is intending to exclude and isolate people in communal accommodations” to deport them as quickly as possible without the public to notice it.
Scarcity of masks and hygiene products?
Prätori also points at accounts from refugees: masks and hygiene products “are insufficient.” She is shouting: “Close the camps! Leave no one behind!”. Applause in and outside of the GU.
After the protest, a banner could be put on a balcony of the GU … “Solidarity instead of being forced to live in camps – for a humane life” the banner says. It contains pictograms of Wi-Fi, toilets, showers, beds, and an ambulance. At around 6 pm, the protesters leave Dieselstraße. The trains continue to speed along.