Prague’s homeless battling COVID-19 find shelter in luxury hotel


PRAGUE (Reuters) – Prague city hall has rented a luxury hotel where homeless people who contract COVID-19 can convalesce and those who come into contact with someone with the disease can isolate.

The city’s Centre of Social Services (CSSP) deputy director Ludmila Tomesova said those housed in the hotel were offered three meals a day, full medical attention and television and other amenities while they recovered.

“So the hotel … has guests, even if they are not standard commercial ones, and it is full all the time,” she told Reuters at a four-star Prague hotel in the city centre that has housed about 250 people since November.

The Czech Republic has been among the hardest hit countries in the world during the recent wave of the pandemic. Deaths from the virus have reached nearly 25,000 in the country of 10.7 million people.

The per-capita infection rate was the third highest in the world in the past week, according to the Our World in Data website.

Tomesova said Prague, which has about 4,500 homeless people, was trying to help people find shelter and get access to other services once they tested negative and left the hotels.

For some guests, the stay was a rare taste of luxury.

“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve been in a hotel like this,” Josef Jirsa said, as he recovered from a mild case of COVID-19.

Reporting by Jiri Skacel, writing by Jason Hovet; Editing by Mike Collett-White



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