The Welsh government has called for the Home Office to close a military camp in south-west Wales that is being used to house asylum seekers, saying it does not meet their basic human needs.
In a written statement, the Labour-led government said the Penally camp in Pembrokeshire was not suitable for asylum seekers. The deputy minister, Jane Hutt, wrote:
We believe the use of the camp should end as quickly as possible. The Welsh government has repeatedly expressed significant concerns about the suitability of the camp at Penally being used to accommodate asylum seekers.
The camp does not meet the basic human needs of people seeking a new life in the UK. It places people in accommodation, which is neither designed nor appropriate for long-term use – mainly poorly insulated huts – and risks re-traumatising many vulnerable people who may have been fleeing abuse and torture.
The camp was opened last month by the UK government.
The Western Isles has recorded its first death from Covid-19 after a resident at a care home on South Uist died on Thursday, three weeks after contracting the virus.
NHS Western Isles and the local council, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, confirmed the death at Sacred Heart Care Home in Daliburgh in a joint statement and sent their condolences to the family.
Their statement indicated, however, that the decision to record the death as Covid-related was procedural, implying that the care home resident did not have the virus when they died.
“We are sorry to confirm the death in a care home of a resident who had tested positive for Covid-19 approximately three weeks before their death, and send our condolences to their family and loved ones,” it said.
“Any individual who sadly passes away within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19 infection, will have this confirmed as a Covid-19 death by Public Health Scotland regardless of any other contributory factors.”
Until this week, the Western Isles had been the only council in the UK not to have recorded a Covid-19 fatality, and until early September had recorded only 7 Covid cases. Those figures escalated rapidly after infections rose later in September to total 58 yesterday. (15 October).