New reports of scabies at RAF Wethersfield base housing asylum seekers

The former RAF Wethersfield
Credit: PA
RAF Wethersfield, Essex Credit: ITV News Anglia

A second case of scabies has been reported at a former RAF airbase housing asylum seekers.

Forty-six single adult men moved into Wethersfield Airfield near Braintree in July.

They were brought in from a processing facility in Kent, and had arrived in the country from small boat crossings.

Reports at the weekend suggested Wethersfield had a single case of highly infectious scabies. In July, one of the new arrivals was put in isolation after being diagnosed with the skin condition.

The Home Office said there was no risk to the wider community and "appropriate protocols are being followed" to manage residents' health.

A spokesman said: “The welfare of individuals at the site is of the utmost priority.

“All appropriate protocols are being followed in accordance with UK Health Security Agency guidance to manage the health of asylum seekers at Wethersfield, including medical care and isolation where appropriate. There is assessed to be no risk to the local community.

“Accommodation offered to asylum seekers, on a no choice basis, meets our legal and contractual requirements.”

In September, a hunger strike was staged over "prison-like" conditions at the base, as well as protests outside the site following complaints about a lack of medicine, blankets and clothing.

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