Washington, May 7
The first coronavirus-related death of an immigrant detained in the US has been reported at a centre in California, a media report said on Thursday.
The 57-year-old man, named by relatives as Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia, had been held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego since January and had been in hospital on a ventilator for a week, the BBC report quoted the San Diego Union-Tribune as saying.
According to Escobar Mejia’s sister, Rosa, they had fled civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s to join another sister, Maribel, living in the US.
Both sisters became US citizens but Escobar Mejia did not get permanent residence.
Although this is the first death, there has been a surge in the coronavirus crisis at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centres.
Otay Mesa, which currently holds about 1,000 people, has seen a spike of infections and detainees have complained that they are not being adequately protected.
More than 200 people held there have tested positive for the virus, according to the Union-Tribune newspaper.
The US currently accounts for the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world.
As of Thursday morning, there were 1,228,603 cases, with 73,431 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University. —IANS
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