25th March 2020: Home Affairs Committee InquiryWednesday, March 25th, 2020
Home Affairs Committee Inquiry into Home Office preparedness for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Written Evidence submitted by Medical Justice
25 March 2020
An immigration detainee has already tested positve for COVID-19 at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre (IRC). IRCs are high risk for clusters of COVID-19, and staff provide a conduit for infection to and from the community.
The response to COVID-19 within IRCs has already been problematic. It is widely acknowledged that even at the best of times, healthcare in IRCs is entirely inadequate and that detention can exacerbate existing medical conditions.
Many detainees are especially vulnerable due to their co-existing physical illnesses.