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[Coronavirus pandemic and immigrants] – The crisis without an end

The global pandemic has highlighted the need for personaland collective responsibility. Each state has adopted a list of measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. These are, first of all, related to the reduction of physical contact and increased maintenance of personal hygiene, but also restrictions on a social gathering, as well as reduced mobility. In addition to these measures, some countries have also faced a burden on health systems.

In crises, such as the one we are in, many changes occur that were believed to be impossible. Thus, in Saxony, a stronghold of right-wing political parties, an invitation was issued for doctors belonging to the migrant population to assist hospitals and hospital staff during the fight against the coronavirus. Authorities in Portugal have temporarily granted citizenship to all migrants and asylum seekers in the process of obtaining asylum to have full access to health care during the pandemic.

Many members of the migrant population have experienced fear very well, both for their own lives and for the lives of the people they love. They have been living in uncertainty for months. Today, they are scared, like most of the people across the world, of the coronavirus. When it comes to Serbia, they are scared because they do not know the accommodation conditions are safe, as well as what is the way to protect themselves. The negative impact on mental health due to the absolute ban on moving outside asylum centers, as well as the concern whether they will be transferred to another camp in another city, should also be pointed out. All this indicates a potential increase in tensions that could be felt in the long run.

The fact is, the COVID-19 pandemic will pass and we will return to the normal life. However, it is necessary to wonder what will happen to those people who are long out of “normal life”. Will we face discrimination and become more solidary than we have been before?

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