Berlin district hires “Covid guides” to help migrants hit hard by pandemic

Migrants and refugees account for a significantly higher proportion of patients in intensive care units at German hospitals, a fact that has driven the mayor of Berlin’s Neukölln district to hire “Covid guides” to help fight the pandemic.

“The reactions have been positive, as people have someone connect them to medical authorities,” said Taman Noor, head of the Neukölln Prevention Team, which offers advice on safety measures, testing and treatment in different languages, and can be reached 24/7.

In this ethnically different part of Berlin, where about 150 nationalities are at home, the risk of being infected by the coronavirus is twice as high as elsewhere. That’s why the local mayor has asked community leaders to share information on social media and do “what it takes” to reduce the number of infections.

“Most people who live in this neighborhood have jobs that do not allow them to work from home,” said Mayor Martin Hikel. “They often live in cramped spaces and do not have access to much information. All this means that the virus spreads more easily when more people become infected.”

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