Bosses at a homeless night shelter in Glasgow have expressed concern over coronavirus infections within rough sleepers.

The Winter Night Shelter, run by the Glasgow City Mission, says they are aiming to continue to run until its scheduled closure at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, campaigners are calling on the council to provide accommodation for those who may be left on the street once the shelter closes.

Speaking to our sister title the Sunday National, Glasgow City Mission chief executive Charles Maasz said some health care teams and legal services had stopped offering support at the shelter over infection fears.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Coronavirus LIVE: 153 confirmed cases in Scotland with 39 in Greater Glasgow

Though he had been assured any homeless person presenting in need of isolation would be prioritised by housing services, he claimed the charity had worries for guests.

He said: “Some of our concerns during the week have been centred around the wellbeing of those who present as homeless but who are also exhibiting signs of infection.

"The situation that nobody wants to see is that a person presents late at night but then cannot be accommodated by us due to risks of transference amongst the wider night shelter population.

“Also of concern has been the readiness of other front line support services to withdraw or scale-back engagement at the Shelter on the basis of health risks to staff.

“This, on one level is understandable, however it places additional burdens on those who will not so readily pull up the drawbridges and leave the marginalised out in the cold.

"Some health practitioners who visit our shelter were the first to stop coming, some of the legal services too.”

Glasgow Times: Coronavirus testing laboratory

READ MORE: Coronavirus 'deaths on Glasgow's streets' fears over lack of support for homeless

He also raised concerns about plans to reduce day centre services, currently understood to be under discussion, and a reduction in volunteer numbers.

But he added: “We are actively discouraging any form of potentially harmful heroism and urge best practice for the sake of all vulnerable groups, but we also believe that we can maintain our services.”

It comes after we exclusively revealed a charity's fears of deaths on Glasgow's streets over a lack of support for homeless people to combat coronavirus.

The official Scottish and UK Government advice to stop any potential outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 disease is to regularly wash your hands – and even self-isolate yourself if you are showing symptoms.

But those two options are virtually impossible for our city’s rough sleepers.

Sean Clerkin of the Scottish Tenant's Organisation has now written to council leader Susan Aitken demanding the council takes action to help a potential influx of 40 rough sleepers.

He wrote: "The winter night shelter for the homeless on East Campbell Street is set to shut down in the near future on March 31.

"Given the outbreak of coronavirus, surely Glasgow City Council can offer all those currently using the forty beds there individual accommodation that offers washing facilities and self-isolation if needed.

"In relation to rough sleepers on our streets the offer of hand sanitiser and an information leaflet is grossly insufficient and that the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council should be giving emergency self-contained accommodation to our rough sleepers to self isolate if they need to.  

"They should also be given access to medical advice and assistance given their underlying health conditions in relation to the coronavirus.

"We all need to work together to help the homeless during this period of crisis and that means you in the council committing more resources to help the homeless one of our most vulnerable groups."

READ MORE: Glasgow hospital locks down ward and stops visitors amid coronavirus fears

When previously approached by the Glasgow Times regarding the issue of homelessness and coronavirus, a Scottish Government spokesman said: "We are working closely with local authorities to support all vulnerable groups, including homeless people, and are considering what additional measures we need to put in place to address their needs.

"As part of this, we have also been working directly with our frontline partners to see what additional measures can be put in place to address the needs of people who are sleeping rough. 

"The Housing Minister and Public Health Minister are meeting to discuss the issue with key partners at a meeting of the Homelessness a Prevention and Strategy Group on Tuesday." 

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) is  busy putting in place contingency plans to reduce risk to vulnerable homeless people, many of whom  have underlying  health conditions.

"This involves working with a range of stakeholders including: Police Scotland and those concerned with housing and health.

"As well as third sector partners like the Simon Community. This is a charity we work closely with, whose Street Team  build up relationships with rough sleepers."