A new medical centre will be opening its doors in Ħal Far this week, as part of the contingency measures being taken to contain the outbreak of COVID-19.

The building, which can accommodate around 150 people, is located next to the open centre which houses asylum seekers and migrants who currently cannot leave the centre as they undergo mandatory quarantine, following a spate of COVID-19 cases there.  

Works to renovate the building had started before the first positive case at the open centre was confirmed. The building will now be used to accommodate residents who test positive for the virus and must remain in isolation until they recover.

Residents of the open centre live in close proximity to each other, with each container unit housing several people. Those close quarters pose a special risk to the spread of COVID-19.

The Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers will be managing the location in collaboration with doctors, nurses and members from the Malta Red Cross Society and the health authorities.

This is the second initiative undertaken by the Malta Red Cross Society, which already starting operating a clinic close to the Ħal Far centre a few weeks ago. 

These two initiatives will decrease the number of people living together at the open centre by 20 per cent. 

The initiatives will reduce pressure on both the Ħal Far open centre and Mater Dei Hospital, the ministry said.

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