Refugees protest amid coronavirus fears

Refugees at a makeshift detention centre in inner Brisbane are worried about the spread of COVID-19.
Refugees at a makeshift detention centre in inner Brisbane are worried about the spread of COVID-19.

Refugees at a makeshift detention centre in inner Brisbane are worried about the spread of COVID-19 given the cramped conditions they're living in.

Dozens of refugees on Saturday protested on the verandah of a Kangaroo Point hotel which houses refugees transferred from offshore detention to receive specialist medical treatment.

They called for better protection amid the coronavirus pandemic with one 27-year-old refugee, who asked not to be named, saying the group of 120 people deserved the same rights as everyone else in Australia.

"There's no distancing here which is really dangerous for us," he told AAP on Saturday.

"If one guy was infected here, then all of us would be infected."

They called on the Morrison government to give them a safe place in the community to live where they can practise social distancing.

"We just want our safety, we need our rights," he said.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre urged the federal government to act to ensure the safety of people in immigration detention centres.

An ASRC spokeswoman told AAP on Saturday the refugees at Kangaroo Point live in cramped conditions and are "really scared" there will be a COVID-19 outbreak.

There are about 1400 people held in detention centres across Australia.

Human rights lawyers are urging the government to reduce the number of people in these crammed spaces and release them into safer spaces, the ASRC said in a statement.

Australian Associated Press