We demand: Equal right to good health for all!
Today it became known that the initial reception camp Traiskirchen was quarantined because of 2 positively tested corona cases. The Traiskirchen centre is the largest accommodation for refugees in Austria and probably currently accommodates around 600 people who have to live together in a very confined space. Now they are not allowed to leave the camp, and the virus will most likely spread even further within the accommodation.
Already a few days ago the "Initiative Against Return Centres" had reported on its website about the absurd events in Lower Austria: Thus the "Return Counselling Centre Schwechat" at Vienna Airport was evacuated to make room for a quarantine accommodation for travellers. The 120 or so affected refugees were then taken to the initial reception camp in Traiskirchen, where, predictably, the first corona infections were confirmed.
So while whole Austria is at a standstill and people are (sensibly) being called upon to practise isolation and social distance, a few days ago the authorities were still working on filling an already overcrowded camp with dozens more people.
The responsible authorities have thus recklessly created a concrete dangerous situation for hundreds of people, including of course people from so-called risk groups.
We want to know:
Who is responsible for this absurd and reckless crisis policy?
Who will bear responsibility for the infections to be expected in the Traiskirchen initial reception centre?
But it is not only this crisis policy that raises questions. The events surrounding the initial reception centre in Traiskirchen and the Schwechat Return Centre once again show all too clearly that the forced placement of people in collective accommodation has inhuman and dangerous consequences.
Return centres, all refugee camps and detention centres for deportees are a massive threat to the health of the inhabitants in the current situation and must be closed!
The right to unharmed health must apply equally to all people, regardless of their citizenship or class status!
In order to avoid further endangerment, decentralized housing must be made available to the refugees, in which it is possible to protect their own health or, in case of an infection, to go through a domestic quarantine under humane conditions that are not dangerous to others or to themselves.
It is to be feared that those affected will not only be confronted with the corona virus, but can now also expect a wave of racist hatred and discrimination. But all this only masks the fact that a combination of reckless crisis management and racist camp politics is responsible for the current situation. The refugees are now being punished for grossly negligent accomodation by the state.
We therefore demand:
- the media to look at the systemic origins of this escalation, instead of promoting racist discrimination
- from the government
◦ to evacuate all people from camps and allow them to stay safely in private homes
◦ to enable domestic quarantine in apartments also for the people in Traiskirchen
◦ extensive testing of the residents inside the facility in Traiskirchen to ease the situation
- the equal right to good health for all and equal access to the resources needed for this purpose
You can find the corresponding OTS press release here: