Homeless people in Aberdeen are at an increased risk of contracting coronavirus due to their health profile, a charity chief has warned.
Aberdeen Cyrenians provides a wide range of services to support vulnerable people across the city, including an outreach service which helps people who are out on the street.
The Evening Express has today learned the first rough sleeper in the city has gone into self-isolation after experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.
Cyrenians chief executive officer Mike Burns praised Aberdeen City Council’s handling of the case but expressed concern that there could be more instances of self-isolation among the city’s homeless.
He said: “When you look at the profile of the average person who is on the street in Aberdeen, whether that be someone who is homeless or someone who is in temporary accommodation, they are male and aged 40 to 50 – but their life experience is such that they have the health of a person aged 70 or 80.
“That is due to a lifetime of chronic illness and cyclical homelessness, finding themselves battling the elements on the streets.
“As a result, they are among the most vulnerable category of people when it comes to Covid-19 susceptibility.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
When the rough sleeper expressed concern about his health, the council found him temporary accommodation and sought the support of the Red Cross and Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE).
An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “Our commissioned services team, along with the alcohol and drugs partnership and Turning Point Scotland, assisted Police Scotland over the weekend to help identify rough-sleeping activity, provide naloxone training and kits and harm reduction materials, as well advising of support service.
“Immediate appointments for specialist drug and alcohol services were also offered.”