Lawyers for the man, who is Eritrean, contacted the Home Office in April to complain that he and other asylum seekers were at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus while living at Urban House in Wakefield in the north of England.
The Home Office informed the man, whose lawyers raised concerns over room sharing and a lack of social distancing, that current policies did not place him or any other resident at risk of becoming ill from Covid-19 at the Yorkshire accommodation, where more than 20 people eventually contracted the virus,
according to The Guardian.
Speaking to the newspaper from a hotel where he was transferred after experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, the man said: “I was so scared in Urban House and believed I was at risk of catching Covid-19 because of the bad and overcrowded conditions there.”
“I have been very ill with Covid, but now I’m starting to feel better,” he said, adding that the illness “has really weakened” asylum seekers, many of whom want to be moved from the “too crowded” Urban House.
The legal action being taken against the Home Office says that “officials’ failure to house him in suitable accommodation was unlawful and resulted in him contracting Covid-19”, according to the left-liberal news outlet.
Representing the complainant, Duncan Lewis solicitors’ Isabella Kirwan said migrants are “at grave risk of contracting Covid-19” at the Wakefield accommodation, where she claimed that they are “unable to properly protect themselves in conditions that are manifestly unsafe”.
A spokesman for the Home Office stated that “the safety and wellbeing of asylum seekers and the local communities in which they live is of utmost importance”, adding that the government had “put in place a range of measures to specifically support asylum seekers affected by the pandemic”.
Home Office contractor Mears, which runs Urban House, said it had put in place new safety measures including reducing asylum seeker numbers at the Wakefield accommodation and ending room sharing.
The Scottish Refugee Council, which
demands UK taxpayers provide illegal immigrants with higher quality housing across the whole of Britain, commented on the case to say that “any public service is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable”.
Recently the Scottish Refugee Council was
amongst NGOs and politicians claiming inadequate taxpayer-funded housing for asylum seekers drove a Sudanese man to carry out a mass stabbing attack in a hotel in Glasgow last month.
Establishment figures north of the border, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) demanded an inquiry into the allegedly poor conditions that the migrants were being housed in at the Glasgow Park Inn.
Complaints included that food served at the establishment was not “culturally appropriate”, that free WiFi was only “
limited“, and that being housed in a hotel during the coronavirus lockdown felt “like being in prison”.
reported last weekend how hundreds of people turned up — in breach of coronavirus rules — to the funeral of Badreddin Abadlla Adam.
The African knifeman was shot dead by police on June 26th after he went on a stabbing spree which left six people in hospital including officer David Whyte, who was critically injured.