Berlin borough hires 'Covid guides' to help migrants hard hit by pandemic

·1-min read

Migrants and refugees account for a significantly higher proportion of patients in intensive care units at German hospitals, a fact that has pushed the mayor of Berlin's Neukölln borough to hire "Covid guides" to help battle the pandemic.

"The reactions have been positive, because people have someone who connects them with medical authorities," says Taman Noor, head of the Neukölln Prevention Team, which offers advice on safety measures, testing and treatment in various languages, and is reachable 24/7.

In this ethnically diverse borough of Berlin, home to some 150 nationalities, the risk of being contaminated by the coronavirus is twice as high as elsewhere. That's why the local mayor has asked community leaders to share information on social media and do "whatever it takes" to lower the number of infections.

"Most of the people who live in this neighbourhood have jobs that don't let them work from home," says the mayor, Martin Hikel. "They often live in tight quarters and don't have access to a lot of information. All this means that the virus spreads more easily as more people get contaminated."

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