Confirmation that an immigration detention guard at the Mantra Hotel in Melbourne has tested positive for Covid-19 reinforces the need for detainees to be released into community detention says Greens Immigration Spokesperson Senator Nick McKim, who has visited the Mantra and seen first-hand the cramped conditions.
“This is an extremely concerning development as the virus will spread like wildfire if it gets a foothold in immigration detention facilities,” McKim said.
“The Mantra hotel is simply not suitable for safe detention as genuine social distancing is impossible with multiple men sleeping in the same small room.”
“This is literally a life or death issue for detainees who are arbitrarily detained under Ministerial whim.”
“The only reason that people brought to Australia under the Medevac legislation are being held in detention is to try to force them back into danger and persecution in their home countries.”
“They should be supported in the community rather than held in punitive and unsafe conditions," McKim said.