A doctor has spoken out about the "unacceptable" conditions causing a wave of Covid-19 cases in a Kent asylum camp.
A Home Affairs Committee heard from senior witnesses yesterday regarding coronavirus in Folkestone's Napier Barracks.
People seeking asylum moved into the barracks in September, and conditions there have since been opposed by human rights activists.
The camp was the scene of a large blaze on January 30, believed to be started in protest at the outbreak on-site.
Yesterday's meeting, in the wake of these events, provided damning claims from people including Dr Jill O'Leary of the Helen Bamber Foundation's GP Medical Advisory Service.
She noted how - on January 25 - 120 of the 390 residents had tested positive, a figure she called "understandably extremely concerning."
While some residents could be moved to more suitable accomodation for self-isolation, many did not have the chance and remained in close quarters with people not suffering from Covid-19.
Saying Napier Barracks aren't Covid-compliant, Dr O'Leary continued: "From a public health perspective, we would say that the practise of placing people in barracks during a pandemic is unacceptable."
One factor exacerbating the issue is the transfer of people from local authorities across the UK, many with high infection rates.
Those people would then be placed in a dormitory of up to 28 people without any facility or opportunity to self-isolate beforehand.
She said this posed an "unacceptable risk for both residents and staff", as well as "massive implications for transmission to the wider community" in Folkestone.
"There are a lot of very, very unwell people who are very frightened..."
Dr O'Leary detailed the case of a barrack resident whom she assessed over the phone.
She recalled: "He was sharing a dorm with up to 28 other people, one of whom had a confirmed positive test and was advised to go back into the dormitory with the same people.
"He wasn't able to self-isolate, and some of the residents were so frightened that they slept in the dorm with the door open to allow ventilation - you can imagine how that would feel in January - and some of the residents even opted to sleep outside with some duvets rather than share the dorms."
The man she was assessing later came down with the coronavirus himself.
Dr O'Leary refuted Home Office claims that the barracks were Covid-compliant, using the fact of the outbreak as evidence against that suggestion.
Shared meal times and toilet facilities meant long queues and lower hygiene, according to the doctor.
The ineligibility of the sites was forewarned by a number of groups in a letter in November, however the "worst fears" of the authors have now come true.
Dr O'Leary said: "It will come as no surprise to you that I would say the barracks need to be evacuated immediately for the safety of all concerned.
She stated: "There are a lot of very, very unwell people who are very frightened and very sick stuck in this unsuitable accommodation."