Italy’s homeless struggle with coronavirus

As Italy remains on lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, one group is still on the streets - the vulnerable homeless population who have no choice but to sleep outside

and the Red Cross workers who help them.

The streets of Rome are virtually empty since Europe’s worst infected country imposed strict measures to curb the spread of the virus.

For the homeless this means no people to donate money and no restaurants to give leftover food.

Red Cross volunteers have amped up their operation, preparing hot meals for the vulnerable and driving around the city to deliver them. But workers like Emiliano say they are still struggling.


"This is a moment of emergency, we continue our service as we do all year round for all those who live on the streets but we are trying to increase our activity because these people are more needy at the moment. They are finding difficulty in getting food to eat, obviously all the shops are closed and so this is a problem also for them. Also other organisations are trying to reach these people who find themselves on the street, with no home where they can stay at this moment of great difficulty."

The Italian capital has over 7,000 homeless people according to one charity, and they feel especially vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 while sleeping on the streets.

They have requested protective equipment like surgical masks but with a shortage across the country and Europe, the red cross is for now -- unable to provide them.