Detainees inside Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre have been protesting due to an outbreak of Covid and ‘general lack of medical care’
Detainees from Wing A and Wing E of Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre protested on Thursday (August 19) (Image: 2004 AFP)
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Activists fear Covid-19 is being allowed to rip through a London immigration detention centre where a large outbreak was confirmed.
One has warned that there are more Covid cases inside Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre near Heathrow Airport ‘than the Home Office is saying’ after 17 positive cases were confirmed on Monday (August 16).
Detainees from Wing A and Wing E protested on Thursday (August 19) and refused to return to their cells, with some refusing food.
Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre near London’s Heathrow Airport is for males only (Image: 2004 AFP)
Karen Doyle of campaign group Movement for Justice told My London detainees are scared because people with symptoms ‘are not getting tested’ while others are not receiving general medication.
“We think there’s more cases than the Home Office are saying. There’s people who have been sick and have asked for tests but aren’t getting them. It’s definitely something the Home Office is playing down,
“People are just scared, because they can see it’s spreading and there’s nothing the detainees can do,” Karen added.
Karen went on to say that the ‘general lack of medical care’ inside Colnbrook led to one detainee not receiving his medication for three days.
It is claimed that communal areas are not always cleaned after detainees with Covid have used them, and mixing inside the wings is ‘unavoidable’.
Karen has called for the Home Office to separate detainees testing negative from detainees testing positive inside the centre.
She adds: “It’s crazy to think it can be contained, it’s just putting people’s lives at risks keeping them in there. If there’s people who are negative, let them go and have their own space.
” People just feel like it’s being allowed to rip through the centre. It’s the general lack of care people are protesting for.”
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Karen believes the total number of positive cases could be ‘more than 20’ and says inside the centre ‘is general chaos’ as ‘no measures are in place’.
“It’s just really irresponsible with people’s health. The Home Office arebringing people from across the country and mushing them in to one to two wings – you’re going to get an outbreak,
“There’s a general picture of chaos and there’s no measures in place at all to stop this,” she warns.
Colnbrook immigration detention centre (Image: PETER MACDIARMID/AFP/Getty Images)
Karen went on to say that the Home Office’s charter flights ‘are the real drivers’ and are ‘bound to end up spreading Covid’ to other countries.