“There is no food for everyone”

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On the third day of isolation at the Selam Palace, cases of contagion increase. According to regional data, 16 people tested positive for the swab. A number to which are added the first two of last Saturday, which on Monday triggered the health alert for the occupation of via Arrigo Cavaglieri, at Romanina, and the establishment of a sort of ‘red zone’ monitored by the army . In addition to the 18 positive ones, 14 people, who had been in close contact with them in the previous days, were brought to health facilities or hotels made available for quarantine. While from tomorrow, they let the Capitol know, the street unit of the Social Operations Room will start a fixed garrison and a cultural mediator will also be made available.

In the former headquarters of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Tor Vergata, which has been transformed into homes since 2006, about 600 migrants who are holders of international protection or asylum seekers mainly from the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan) live. Among them, according to regional data, one third are women and 32 minors.

In addition to health care, the insulation of an eight-storey structure with about 600 people, including very young children, also requires assistance in finding the basic necessities. “We are working to ensure support for families who may need shopping packages. Yesterday we delivered about 150. But there is the army for security, there is the Region and there is the ASL for health investigations. We are only supportive, ”said mayor Virginia Raggi live on Uno Mattina on Rai 1. Essential support since none of the inhabitants of Selam Palace can leave or enter the facility.

In addition to the danger of contagion, the distribution of food is also a source of concern for the inhabitants. “We want to do our duty and not go out. But if there is a health emergency and this building must remain isolated, everyone must be able to have food, “says Bereket, one of the residents. We reach him on the phone, many voices are heard in the background. “We asked to draw up a list with the number of inhabitants present in order to establish how much food is up to each one and, above all, in order to be able to distribute it in an orderly manner avoiding gatherings,” he explains.

“Instead the first day they brought us between 15 and 18 packages with pasta, tomato sauce, a liter of milk and biscuits inside. We have pointed out that there are also children of a few months here who cannot eat these things. But we have not been listened to. At first, in protest, we refused to collect the food. We want to do our duty but if we can’t go to work and we can’t go shopping and the food that comes is not enough for everyone how do we do it? “.

On Tuesday, Bereket says, “other packages have arrived. Something has also been brought to us by humanitarian organizations, perhaps we will have reached the 150 of which the mayor spoke. But the problem remains: they are not enough for everyone ”. The concern also concerns health security. “To avoid getting infected, we have to live as separate as possible but knowing that food is not enough for all, people gather to get it.” In a photograph taken from one of the upper floors of the building, twenty people are seen piled up in an attempt to take blue packs, perhaps doves, passed by people with a yellow bib through the gate. “Do you see how they do it?”, The comment.

When asked by Romatoday, the Capitol announced that yesterday the Civil Defense of Rome Capital delivered 165 parcels with oil, pasta, rice, tomatoes, legumes, rusks and that within each parcel there is food for several people. Today, however, in agreement with the Directorate General of Civil Protection, the Pope’s almsman, Konrad Krajewski, has delivered other parcels even if he has not been brought into the facility. As far as baby milk and homogenised milk were concerned, Parmalat made a donation. The Capitol confirms that no list has been drawn up for the distribution of meals as not all residents have accepted to be ‘surveyed’ on the list. The breakdown therefore takes place when the packages are opened.

He criticizes the position of Donatella D’Angelo, doctor and president of the Citizens of the World association, which since 2006 has provided health care inside the building. “Together with the army they should have sent someone to inform people about what was going on. It is not a very wise behavior because in these cases it would be necessary to have planning that is not there. There are so many confused people who also started to run out of drugs. Someone gave us the money to do the shopping. They don’t want begging, they just got locked in without explanation and planning. ” Even on health information for D’Angelo “there is no transparency. We have no transparent information. Yet I am a doctor who has been working here for many years, I know the patients very well. Most of these people, on the other hand, don’t even know their GP and some don’t even have it. ”

The Movements for the right to housing and the trade union Si Cobas – Coordination Rome have also expressed their opinion on what is happening: “It is not collaboration but simple common sense that has prompted the inhabitants of Selam Palace to wait health checks ”, they write in a note. “With much common sense, the inadequate offer was refused in protest to reaffirm that nobody’s dignity can be offended in the name of the emergency. We immediately ask that the persons in charge, first of all the Municipality of Rome, give worthy assistance to people in sanitary isolation “. And again: “Those who worry about social distancing should reflect on the fact that without that building, there would be quite another emergency for those communities, that a place to” stay at home “would not even have it”.

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