39 migrants evicted from prison ship in England over fears of spreading pneumonia

The vessel, designed to accommodate about 500 asylum seekers, has three floors and 222 cabins.

The first migrants, all males, began to be accommodated on Monday and more are expected to arrive in the coming weeks as part of the government’s policy to lower the high hotel bills for asylum seekers.

“The health and well-being of the people on the ship is our top priority. Environmental samples from the water supply system in Bibby Stockholm showed levels of legionella bacteria that require further study,” an internal affairs official told media today.

“Given these results, the Home Office is working closely with the UKHSA (Health and Safety Agency) and following their advice in line with long-established public health processes,” he added.

“As a precaution, the 39 asylum seekers who arrived on the ship this week are being disembarked while further assessments are being carried out. Not a single person on board showed symptoms of legionellosis, and asylum seekers are receiving appropriate advice and support,” the spokesman said.

The source clarified that the samples are only connected to the ship’s water system, so there is no direct risk to the population in the South Dorset area.

It is estimated that local authorities spend about six million pounds (6.96 million euros) a day to accommodate irregular migrants in hotels.

Amnesty International’s (AI) director of migrant and refugee rights, Steve Valdez-Symonds, criticized the measure this week, saying it was “a completely shameful way to shelter people who have fled terror, conflict and persecution.”

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