A Zimbabwean detained in a UK detention centre has spoken of his fear of contracting the dreaded  coronavirus.

The Zimbabwean spoke after one of the detainees at Brook House removal centre on Tuesday tested positive for the virus.

Leo Nokaneng, a Zimbabwean national who has been in Brook House since February, told the Independent that he has been advised to shield himself during the pandemic because he has asthma.

“He was walking around, using the gym, using the IT room. I think more people might be infected. I’m asthmatic, so its a worry. There are so many other people at risk too. There’s not social distancing in here. We’re in single cells now, but I’ve been told to shield for 12 weeks because of my asthma. So I’m trying to do that, but I still need to go out to get my food. People are still congregating in the food hall and in other parts of the centre.”

The 30-year-old, who is detained on the basis of a crime he committed 11 years ago and for which he has served his sentence, questioned why the government was releasing thousands of prisoners from jail, but continuing to hold immigration detainees despite there being no prospect of removal due to travel bans. 

“If they can release 4,000 prisoners, what about us? The definition of a removal centre is to deport people. If a deportation order isn’t imminent, you’re not meant to be detained. Right now, there are no flights. So in each and every one’s case, their deportation isn’t imminent,” he sa