[WATCH] Hal Far migrant open centre under lockdown

Army called in to ensure Hal Far open centre quarantine rules are adhered to • Crammed conditions contributed to outbreak, aid workers say

Soldiers are guarding the perimeter of the Hal Far open centre to ensure that the quarantine rules are observed (Photo: Karl Azzopardi/MediatToday)
Soldiers are guarding the perimeter of the Hal Far open centre to ensure that the quarantine rules are observed (Photo: Karl Azzopardi/MediatToday)

For more than 1,000 people who live at the Hal Far open centre, today marks the first day of quarantine after eight residents registered positive for Covid-19.

The decision was announced yesterday by the government in a bid to stem the spread of the virus in the community.

The open centre houses migrants in crammed mobile homes, which are not the ideal conditions to self-isolate.

Police officers inside the centre are ensuring law and order are maintained as more medical staff have been deployed to see to the needs of immigrants (Photo: Karl Azzopardi/MediaToday)
Police officers inside the centre are ensuring law and order are maintained as more medical staff have been deployed to see to the needs of immigrants (Photo: Karl Azzopardi/MediaToday)

On Monday, MaltaToday toured the perimeter of the open centre, which is guarded by a heavy presence of police and soldiers. Inside, the number of medical staff has also been increased with the help of the Red Cross.

Meanwhile, Maria Pisani from the Integra Foundation, an NGO that works with migrants, told MaltaToday that residents they spoke to on Sunday were calm.

She said it was unclear how the situation would pan out over the coming days, pointing out that the crammed conditions in which migrants lived were not ideal and probably the cause of the outbreak.

She said NGOs have offered to go into the centre and help with whatever is needed.

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